November 7th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
We’re often blown away by the talents of our incredible featured brides; whether it be their ability to style a theme to precision, their skills in the kitchen to create home-baked goods, or their passion for arts and crafts that results in both pretty and personal décor.
The leading lady from today’s featured wedding boasts all such assets, and had such fun styling her big day that she’s since set up a business motivated by her creativity. From an LED sign spelling out her new surname to a jigsaw guestbook and bespoke cake topper, Rebecca went to town with her homemade touches.
We’re also a little bit in love with the idea of designing your own wedding shoes – an assurance that no guest is going to steal your thunder wearing the same pair of designer heels you spent ages deliberating over and a king’s ransom purchasing. Throw this into the mix with a barbecue, ice cream and pizza feast, 500m-worth of bunting made by the bride’s nanna, a band that played all day long, vodka jellies and a cake table that was demolished by the guests in 30 minutes flat, and we reckon you’ve got a wedding to remember!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
rebecca says: Ashley proposed in August 2016, the day before we were due to fly to New York for a holiday. He pretended he had found something in the suitcase that turned out to be the ring!
I was keen not to have a long engagement as we had already been together more than ten years, so we got married on 26th August 2017 at The Out Barn in Bashall Eaves, near Clitheroe. I knew I wanted something in the countryside and we spent a week looking at different venues all over Lancashire, but nothing took our fancy. I was beginning to lose hope of finding somewhere that I liked when my maid of honour sent me a picture of The Out Barn. We had never heard of it before as it is quite a new venue but this one picture sold it to us. The barn has a huge, round main room and the huge windows look out to Pendle Hill.
I decided on a colour scheme of navy, grey and lilac for the flowers and bunting. Initially, I was going to go for bright wedding colours to contrast with the navy but found it hard to get things to coordinate!
My wedding dress was a tea-length design by Ellis with a jacket, belt and veil, all from Amelia’s Brides in Clitheroe. It was exactly like the image I’d always had in my head, so when I saw it I felt like it was fate! It was the first dress I tried on. I went to three dress shops in total and the experience I had at Amelia’s was by far the best. The girls are so lovely and welcoming.
For my shoes, I knew I wanted a chunky heel and closed toe because those are the shoes I am most comfortable in but, unlike with my dress, I couldn’t find what I had in my head, until I found Shoes of Prey! This is an Australian website where you can design your own shoes. I chose the fabric, heel height, shape, etc. and even got my name and wedding date inscribed on the inside. The whole process was a lot of fun and my shoes ended up cheaper than if I had bought them off the shelf – plus nobody has a pair like them! For the reception, I changed into silver sequinned Converse pumps.
Ashley chose to wear a blue suit, also purchased from Amelia’s, with a grey checked waistcoat. His two best men and our dads matched.
I wanted navy bridesmaid dresses from the very beginning. It’s timeless, very flattering and easy to match with other colours, so my bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses with pleated skirts from ASOS. My maid of honour had the same dress with a different neckline, so she stood out a little. Their shoes were from New Look. I felt so guilty about making them wear heels all day that I also got them some white pumps with their names on for the evening.
August 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This celebration feels a bit like a fairytale: a wonderful extended stay at an ancient 14th century farmstead, photographs featuring chandeliers and roof beams, fur throws and flowers galore – and, of course, a picture-perfect princess in a bespoke gown.
Details really mattered for this discerning bride, and what beautiful details they were: a colour palette that echoed the springtime cherry blossom, flowers everywhere, a menu planned to perfection, a fun caravan photobooth and raspberry gin – mmm!
And as well as having a keen eye for elegant decor, Clare is a wise sage on the subject of wedding planning. She advises brides-to-be to make no apologies – “If it’s important to you, that’s all that matters.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Over to Clare to tell us more…
With photography by Hayley Baxter Photography
clare says: We got engaged during a surprise weekend away for Valentine’s Day in 2016 to Loch Lomond. After the long drive, Nick suggested that we go for a walk and find a pub for some lunch. As we were walking along the edge of the loch, Nick kept stopping to look at the view and trying to get me close to the water’s edge – but I was more concerned about the mud, utterly clueless as to what he was trying to do! Nick got down on one knee – I was so surprised! Of course, I said yes!
We booked our wedding for 29th April 2017 – it was the Bank Holiday weekend, so ideal with the extra day off work for our guests.
We got married at St John the Evangelist Church in Charlesworth, Derbyshire. I grew up in Charlesworth and my mum still lives in the village, so it was a perfect choice.
Our reception was at Upper House in Hayfield, about ten minutes away from Charlesworth. We fell in love with the venue the moment we first went to see it – the views over Kinder are incredible and the building itself is beautiful and full of history. The great thing about Upper House was that we had it for the whole weekend, so arrived on the Friday morning and left on the Monday morning – all our family and wedding party stayed with us for the three nights and it was so special to spend the whole weekend with family and friends in such a stunning location.
We didn’t have a theme as such; as the venue is so beautiful, it didn’t really need it. However, flowers played a large part, from our wedding stationery to the décor in the marquee.
We went for a spring colour palette of blush pinks, sage greens and golds. We chose it because I love cherry blossom and it was in bloom at that time of year.
I had a bespoke wedding dress. I didn’t initially set out thinking that I wanted to have my dress made for me – I was so excited about going to different shops to find ‘the one’. I made an appointment at Mariée Bridal Boutique in Nantwich, without even considering the bespoke service they offer, but then after trying a few things on the conversation started moving towards creating a design just for me. Kate drew up a sketch and I was sold! The whole process of having a dress created is wonderful: you see it evolve at each appointment and can tweak things right up to the last minute. Kate also made my mum’s outfit and my flower girl’s dress, and they both looked beautiful.
July 11th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Imagine being the very first couple to tie the knot in a stunning new venue. That’s something today’s couple, Donna and Darren, can lay claim to – and we might just be a little bit jealous!
Marrying last summer at the spectacular Tanfield House on the banks of the River Ure in Ripon – the newlyweds created a rustic, laid-back garden party for their guests, complete with bunting, pom poms, chalkboards and origami heart place names. They quite literally put their heart and soul into their big day and this can be seen in every minute detail.
Asking their guests to bring along baked goodies as part of their bake-off competition, Donna and Darren also served up a Spanish feast and a dreamy four-tiered wedding cake. The epitome of vintage chic, this is the picture-perfect summer wedding we all secretly wish for…
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
donna says: We got engaged in July 2015, while on a weekend away in Barcelona. We had a ridiculously action-packed day which Darren had planned, including a Segway tour of Barcelona in the morning, a lovely tapas lunch followed by a visit to the Gaudi fountains in the park and then hiring a rowing boat on the lake.
After returning to the hotel room we quickly got ready and dashed out for a lovely meal and enjoyed a late-night walk along the beach. We stopped for cocktails before finally heading back to the hotel where he then wanted to go up to the rooftop bar, which was unfortunately closed. As I had pretty much been dragged around non-stop all day, I was absolutely shattered and just requested that we go to our room and go to bed. I pretty much passed out in bed, but Darren asked me to open my eyes and when I did, he had the open ring box in his hand and proposed. I was completely overwhelmed (mainly from exhaustion) but absolutely ecstatic. The ring was a beautiful vintage style diamond surrounded by cluster diamonds.
It turned out that the reason for the action-packed day was because he had been trying to find the right spot/moment to propose which never appeared. There had been a couple of occasions where he had pulled the ring out and then put it back in his pocket because I’d made some stupid joke or wandered off distracted. Even earlier in the evening when we were getting ready there had been a failed proposal attempt where he had written the proposal in steam on the shower wall whilst I was showering but I had been so intent on getting out for food I hadn’t even seen it! So it was quite funny and really lovely.
We got married on Friday 1st July 2016. We were really keen to get married the following year as I didn’t want to have a long drawn out engagement consumed with wedding planning. We were very limited with registrar slots and I had already decided on my photographer who had limited availability too. I liked the 1st July too as it was a nice easy date to remember!
We married at a new venue – Tanfield House in a village called West Tanfield near Ripon. I had my heart set on an outdoor rustic wedding in an intimate setting. I wanted the wedding to be very relaxed – like a chilled garden party – and having searched everywhere within a one hour radius, could not find anything which was suitable or was not already completely booked up. I had pretty much given up when luckily my search threw up Tanfield House, which was a brand-new venue. As soon as we looked around it and saw its stunning setting, and met Allanah the owner and wedding planner – we knew that it was absolutely perfect for us.
The venue sells itself on being a home-from-home where you dress the venue to your specifications and have the wedding exactly as you would like it, including having your own caterers, etc. Being their first booking and first large wedding in the diary, I knew that we would get a very personal service and it was exciting to be part of a new business venture and have a wedding that was completely original.
We chose a rustic relaxed theme. We both envisaged a really relaxed fun day celebrating with our closest friends and family. We are not religious, both very chilled and quite creative and good at crafting and wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities.
The rustic garden party wedding was ideal for us as it is exactly how I envisage a romantic summer wedding to be – full of garden blooms, chalkboards and vintage details. It enabled us to really personalise our wedding with decorating jars, homemade invites, flowers arranged by my friends and family from the local flower market, Darren’s self-crafted bar, cake table and light-up marquee letter initials from old wooden pallets, homemade chalkboards, a bake-off, origami heart place names, the list goes on…
We didn’t have a set wedding colour scheme. Given the theme, colours were just in keeping with summer blooms. Accessories were mainly cream, hessian and twine, and the flowers were just beautiful summer flowers from the markets in array of pinks, purples, creams and corals with lots of beautiful foliage.
I wore a vintage style lace mermaid Enzoani gown from The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in Pickering. I had my heart set on a form fitting lace gown but had initially wanted one with a detailed back – however when trying them on, detailed backs came with high necks which just didn’t suit my petite frame. My dress shopping was actually done in quite a panic with appointments booked during my lunch hour as I started shopping after New Year so had left myself less than six months. On one of these lunch time appointments my good friend and photographer Hayley came with me and encouraged me to try the dress on which I initially did not like, as I thought the mermaid flare would be over the top – however upon trying it on the flare made my figure look amazing and the lace eyelash detail on the bodice and the scallop lace bottom was so romantic and beautiful – I knew it was the one!
June 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Where do we start with today’s real wedding? Bride and groom Rebecca and Jonathan worked together on all aspects of their big day to make it as personal and ‘local’ as possible; an aim that was most certainly achieved.
We love all the little details – from the sweet stationery, to the homemade favours and ice cream dessert, not to mention the wedding party’s sophisticated get-up. Looking good guys!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged in my mum’s kitchen on our four year anniversary. To put it into context, we were saving for our first house so we both moved back in with our parents to save money for a mortgage. As a result we thought we’d just have a meal in for our anniversary but it ended up being much more than just a meal.
Jon got the jewellery store, which was Geralds based in Knutsford, to wrap the ring up in a big box with a box of chocolates so that I wouldn’t suspect anything, which worked! I even shook the box trying to guess what it was. After washing up Jon said it was time for presents so I opened up the big box to find a box of chocolates and a small jewellery box, which I thought were earrings. I was so surprised that I couldn’t stop laughing, all whilst Jon was on one knee waiting for a response. I obviously said yes and we cracked open some champagne whilst I called all our friends and family to tell them the good news. It was the perfect proposal as it was a complete surprise, and just proved how well Jon knew me.
We set the date for 5th September 2015 because we bought our house in 2013 so we needed plenty of time to save for the wedding. I also love the number 5 and wanted it to be in September as the weather is usually good (which it was).
We got married at St Vincent de Paul Church in Altrincham, where I had my first holy communion and my confirmation so it is filled with lots of happy memories. As a couple we go there every year on Christmas Eve so it was great to get the opportunity to marry there. Our reception was held at Manchester Town Hall.
We didn’t really have a theme but we are both very Manchester proud and wanted our wedding to be really personal so we picked everything for the wedding together that we love. The two wedding buses chosen to take guests from the church to the reception, used to do routes in Kent and a route in Yorkshire where our parents are from. The cocktails on arrival were ‘his’ and ‘hers’ made from Bermudian rum that my dad and his wife brought over for us as I was born in Bermuda and my dad currently lives there. We also gave miniature versions of the rum as a keepsake to our guests. All of the food at the wedding was locally sourced including the dessert, which was provided by a local ice cream maker.
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March 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we’re bringing a little warmth to your day with this beautiful tuscan style wedding shoot that was captured right here in the UK.
Featuring stunning dresses from fabulous designer and Brides Up North Sponsor Charlotte Balbier, we were instantly taken with effortless simplicity of this elegant shoot, which draws inspiration from the Mediterranean. With contributions from talented suppliers in the North West and Yorkshire, the wonderful styling just goes to show that you don’t have to leave the UK to add a little Italian charm to your big day.
To tell us more about the details included, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to lady that captured it all, Yorkshire-based photographer Hayley Baxter.
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
hayley says: The aim of the shoot was to create a beautiful Tuscan Italian style wedding in the heart of England. A typical Tuscan style wedding is elegant yet rustic, charming, warm, passionate – and full of life!
We sprinkled our shoot with Tuscan magic through rustic touches, including displays of lemons, bouquets of pretty pink flowers and a beautiful flower crown to complement Charlotte Balbier’s gorgeous gowns. Of course, there was also a bottle of Amaroni della Valpolocel present at the shoot – a rich Italian red wine.
The backdrop for the shoot also added to the romantic rustic feel. We chose The Upper House for its stunning architecture and remote location. The pretty courtyard and rustic doorways are reminiscent of an Italian retreat. It’s such a peaceful and tranquil venue – you really could be anywhere!
August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.
We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.
Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.
We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.
We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.
We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.
Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.
A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!
My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.
Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.
On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.
Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.
On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.
We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.
To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!
For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.
There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!
Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.
Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.
My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.
Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.
My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!
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