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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November 30th, 2016 | Julia Braime
We are totally head over heels for this morning’s gorgeous real wedding which features a super-stylish wedding party, pretty pastel colour scheme and lots of outdoor fun and frolics.
Highlights? There are many! Though for us the delicate décor, on-trend attire and super cute four-legged guest are among our very favourite bits!
With images by Darren Mack Photography
alexandra says: We got engaged whilst we were staying at some vineyards in Yorkshire with friends for my 30th birthday in June 2014. Unbeknown to me, the day before we went Andrew had “Alex will you marry me?” Tattooed on his chest. We went out for dinner and drinks in Holmfirth then to a Billy Bragg gig. After an amazing evening, we got back to our apartment and much to my utter shock and disbelief Andrew revealed his new chest art to me! I said yes and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with the rest of the bunch that we were away with!
Our wedding day was exactly two years after the weekend that we got engaged, so 18th June 2016, the day before my 32nd birthday.
We got married at Knipe Hall in Cumbria, where we are from. We wanted a rustic blank canvas venue and this fit the bill! It’s an old farm that has been converted into luxury holiday cottages and has a barn and old dairy and huge outdoor space to host your wedding. This meant that whole wedding party could stay over making it a full weekend celebration and we could do as we wanted with the venue.
We didn’t really have a specific wedding theme as such, we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun! I guess it had a bit of a rustic country wedding feel to it. Our colour scheme was pastels and metallic. I was just drawn to those colours from day one and I love a bit of gold/sequins/glitter – just a touch though.
My dress was by Pronovias bought from Olivia James Bridal in Egremont. When I first got engaged I saw a similar Rosa Clara dress in a wedding mag, which I loved – it reminded me of the wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday. This dress was only in one shop in the UK so I travelled all the way down to London to try it on. It was lovely but wasn’t quite right so I walked away. I then decided I wanted a more boho 70s style gown so proceeded to try on around 30 more dresses; some vintage, some high street, designer, bridal couture, you name it but discovered I didn’t really suit a lot of the lace and nothing felt special enough. I was starting to lose faith and decided I just don’t like wedding dresses then I came across this dress online and found out it was in a shop not far from home and like I said, very similar to the first dress I liked. As soon as I tried it on it felt right. Still very much a wedding dress with the full skirt and long train but no added bling or lace; plain but beautiful details like the low scoop back and simple bows at the waist. It was such a relief to find the one!
My hairdresser for the wedding was Sarah Redding from Halo in Carlisle, and she was amazing, working relentlessly to get us all ready in time. A very talented lady. I own my own beauty salon in Carlisle called Rock and Fairy so I did everyone’s beauty treatments a couple of nights before the wedding and did my own makeup on the day using Mac products.
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September 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We’re not quite sure where to start with this morning’s real wedding in Chester as there are so many fabulous elements to discuss!
I guess what we love most about Milli and Kris’s big day is that they did things 100% their way rather than sticking to the ‘wedding rule book’.
After marrying at quirky boutique hotel Oddfellows, the bride and groom took their guests off around Chester for drinks, ice creams and photos, before returning to the hotel for their wedding breakfast and reception.
The setting, styling and attire all get top marks from us, and in particular Milli, whose hair, makeup, bouquet and dress we absolutely love!
With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.
milli says: We got engaged in July 2015. It was my day off and I had been for a facial that morning, I picked Kris up from work mid-afternoon. Myself being completely oblivious, Kris thought he was acting very shifty as he had been trying to Skype call my dad at work to ask for my hand in marriage. It was a nice day so when Kris suggested a picnic in the park and I agreed. The Grosvenor Park is a gorgeous space in the centre of Chester and happens to be around the corner from our house. Just as I had wanted it, in a moment that was just ours, Kris asked me to marry him. The shock meant I was far from demure but I of course said yes!
Our wedding was on 23rd July 2016. We had always known we wanted to get married fairly soon after getting engaged and with me wanting a spring/summer wedding, we randomly picked July. We booked the wedding exactly a year to the date.
Our chosen venue was Oddfellows in Chester. I had always wanted a wedding that wasn’t too traditional. Our initial thinking was that we wanted something outdoorsy and to get married in the Roman Gardens in Chester. Then, whilst we were trying to get in touch with someone from the council to find out if this was possible, we walked past Oddfellows. I had seen that it was on the list of registered wedding venues and suggested we take a look. We loved its quirky style straight away and I knew that was where we wanted our wedding. We met and first lived together in Chester so we were very particular in that we wanted the wedding local in the place where it all started.
We didn’t have a full wedding theme where everything revolved around it but we styled the day on the 1920’s/ Great Gatsby era. I always wanted to look back out our wedding pictures and it look classic and timeless.
We wasn’t keen on having a bright colour scheme and had always thought I would have black bridesmaid dresses. However, with us having a summer wedding and Kris being very set on having a blue tux, I searched Pinterest for some ideas and decided on blush pink, even though I hate pink! Everything else was white and then we had mixed metal accessories.
February 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We just love a bride that embraces her inner princess on her wedding day! This afternoon’s bride Emma did just that, picking a sparkling, full skirted dress and full length veil for her attire, whilst adding many more regal touches to her and Adam’s special day, during the planning process.
Taking place at the gorgeous Black Swan hotel in Helmsley, we were immediately impressed when this beautiful wedding landed in the Brides Up North inbox, but what made it all the more impressive was that Emma and Adam had organised their big day in little over two months! Perhaps they’ve missed their calling as wedding planners?!
With images by Photography34.
emma says: We got engaged on 12th March 2015. Adam brought me breakfast in bed – complete with a ring and a note saying “Marry Me”.
We set the date for 16th May 2015, giving us just over nine weeks to organise it all! I was really keen to have our photographer and he only had two available Saturdays in the year. It also just so happened that our chosen venues were both available on 16th May too – like it was meant to be!
Our ceremony was held at Stockton-on-the-Forest Church – a church with strong connections with my family and I also grew up in a nearby village and went to school there too. We then went on to The Black Swan, in Helmsley, for the reception. Again, I had connections to Helmsley through a family friend and often went there as a child. The Black Swan is a gorgeous hotel in a beautiful, picturesque town – what’s not to love?!
We decided not to have a theme and instead settled on a simple and elegant colour scheme of navy and ivory.
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October 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
No matter what the weather outside, Joy and Mike’s pretty yellow wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Keeping things local, Joy and Mike chose to tie the knot in their local church followed by a quaint village hall wedding reception complete with reams of bunting!
Overall the décor and styling choices make for a bright and beautiful big day!
With images by Jemma King Photography.
joy says: We got engaged 26th August 2013 near Bridlington in front of our six-month-old son. We had a day out together that was almost identical to our first date then just before home time Mike popped the question!
We got married 26th April 2014. We wanted to get married ASAP but also wanted a spring wedding. Thinking back I was probably nuts as it was my son’s first birthday and my 30th birthday all in that month! It was a very busy few weeks!
We got married at Skirlaugh church, East Ridings, which is in the village we have lived in for the last five years. We even used the village hall for our reception – so it was a proper local affair!
As we were doing everything ourselves at the venue, we kept the theme pretty rustic with a sense of village hall charm. We had a tea urn in the small room, bunting and pompoms all around but then somethings I wanted to keep pretty traditional, like candelabras – so the theme was quite loose really.
I love the colour yellow so much and had seen yellow and grey wedding before and had admired it. I knew we would use it at our wedding. I had a themed Pinterest board for about two years before we were even engaged!
I bought my dress from Elite in Hull. It was the only thing we didn’t scrimp on! It wasn’t one I wanted to try on but my bridesmaid made me and we both fell in love with it and cried! It came home with me the very same day!
I feel so bad saying this but Mike’s suit was a wool suit from H&M – my dress cost 20 times more than it! The groomsman wore same suit as Mike.
The church and hall were just round the corner from each other so for transport we borrowed our friend’s vintage MG called ‘Gatsby’ for our wedding car and Mike drove it out of the village for our photos in the countryside.
Jemma King (who is a superstar) was our photographer! We had met a few times before as our young boys are born within days of each other. Jemma is so professional but also just so easy to get on with and on a day as important as your wedding day it really made a difference that we were comfortable with her. I would recommend Jemma to anyone, her photos are beautiful snapshots of moments rather than stuffy staged shots.
My bouquet was from Daisy Chain, based in Skirlaugh. I was quite specific in the flowers I wanted and the colours and the florist there did exactly what I wanted.
I did the other flowers myself. As it was April I bought about 30 bunches of daffodils from Tesco! The only issue was timing it just right as they took a few days to open so I practised for a few weeks before making sure I went and bought then on the right day so they would be fully open for the Saturday of the wedding. The bridesmaids carried daffodils too, which I tied with lovely ribbon and pearl topped pins. I also made around 80 Pompoms for the venue and borrowed 100 meters of bunting from a friend. Lots of the decor was begged and borrowed or made!
My amazing friend and bridesmaid Bridie, made our wedding cake for us! Superstar! We had three different tiers: vanilla, chocolate and lemon.
For our wedding breakfast we had a hog roast and then a hot buffet on the evening. We didn’t want a formal sit down dinner. To drink – prosecco of course, my favourite!
We didn’t have a budget for entertainment so instead we had a Spotify playlist collaborated by our guests in the months leading up to the wedding. My friend lent us all the sound equipment. We also had a photo booth, which proved a great hit!
The village hall was fantastic and so we would definitely recommend it to other couples! A huge blank canvas of space but you have to be prepared to work hard to put it together.
My favourite part of the wedding was getting to spend the day with all my favourite people in the world – it was just amazing!
As we have a young son we just went for a few days to the Lake District on honeymoon following the wedding. We got upgraded to an amazing suite and it was bliss!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and enjoy the day itself! All the planning and work that goes into it, and then it goes in a blink of an eye!
December 23rd, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps 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 for 2014.
This bright and beautiful, colourful wedding is guaranteed to inject a big boost of colour and happiness into your day.
Creative couple Tony and Katy tied the knot in the super city of Sheffield, starting off with their ceremony in the stunning Town Hall before moving onto the nearby Workstation for a fabulous afternoon tea and evening celebrations.
To really make the day their own they included lots of vibrant decorations, quirky homemade touches and beautiful blooms, all of which was captured perfectly by their talented photographer.
With images by Photography34
katy says: We got engaged on New Year’s Day 2013. We had been to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party and Tony had taken the ring, but he couldn’t find the right moment when we were both alone. The following morning we both woke up early and Tony asked me what I was doing for the rest of my life as he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then produced my beautiful ring! I cried a little and then called the world.
We set the date for Saturday May 24th 2014. We wanted to get married over a Bank Holiday as we had lots of guests who would be travelling a distance so we were keen to make sure they had plenty of time to party and recover.
I think we must have viewed almost every venue in Yorkshire, but we couldn’t find anything which would allow us to create the different look and feel we were hoping for within our budget. We are both from Sheffield and love to city so when we found the Workstation which is part of the Showroom Cinema and met Mark the sales manager, it ticked all the boxes. He was so accommodating and because the venue is an exhibition centre he allowed us to dress it exactly how we wanted. We originally wanted to get married at the same place as our reception but this was not possible at the Workstation so we started to look for somewhere close by. We had walked past Sheffield Town Hall hundreds of times but had never been inside. Once we did we were blown away by how beautiful the building was, especially the fabulous staircase.
Very early on in our wedding planning I discovered Pinterest, and began pinning ideas to a mood board. We knew the venue was going to need a lot of dressing so we decided to hire someone to help with this. Jennie from Hansley Beard came highly recommended by our venue and she did a fabulous job of keeping me calm, my ideas focused and she planned the design to the finest detail, we could not have done it without her.
We knew we wanted to do things differently and we wanted the whole feel of the day to be bright, colourful, fun and homemade. We both like colour – our house is full of it. We originally found some bright material which we liked at The Range store, we used this as the basis for our colour scheme, they had paper, buttons etc all in the same collection which was great. Bright coloured ribbons and buttons then became the main theme throughout the wedding. We didn’t want a traditional wedding so decided that lots of bright colours would really help create a different atmosphere. We are so happy that we went with these colours in the end as our wedding day turned out to be raining and gloomy but the colours helped keep everyone bright and cheery!
I always knew that I wanted a fitted lace dress and I fell in love with Pippa, a Sassi Holford dress which was well over my budget. I searched the internet and to my complete amazement I found Silk Bridal in Litchfield selling a sample of this dress in my size. I would highly recommend this bridal shop – they made my wedding dress experience so memorable. Helen, the seamstress, could not do enough to help with my alterations and every time we visited the shop I was made to feel just as special as the last. My friend Serena, very kindly lent me her beautiful Jenny Packham headband for my something borrowed. I’m actually selling my dress it is currently listed on eBay and preloved. Although I will be very sad to see this dress go, it would give me great pleasure for another bride to have a chance to wear a fabulous Sassi Holford dress.
I knew that I didn’t want traditional bridesmaid dresses or anything too formal; I wanted something that they would wear again so they wore emerald green maxi dresses from Mango which were accessorised with belts from H&M. The best man wore a bright blue suit from Moss Bros and our page boy, my nephew, wore a little navy suit from Next, a homemade emerald green bow tie and some white Converse boots which he loved!
Tony’s mum’s friend made all the bouquets and button holes. I picked the flowers for these, along with the flowers for the venue, from the Parkway Flower Market in Sheffield. I had a hand-tied bouquet with bright flowers including Gerberas,Ranunculus, Gentian and Craspedia. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar, just a bit smaller. All the bouquets had ribbons hanging from the stems.
We both share a love for VWs, especially retro split screen camper vans and we knew that we couldn’t arrive any other way. We hired the stunning ‘Johnny’ from Something old Something New. As our venues were close together we were able to use the same van for the whole wedding party.
We were let down by a friend who was originally planning on doing our photography, very close to the wedding day. Tony at Photography34 was recommended to us and to our delight he was available on our date. Choosing Tony was the best decision we made, after getting married of course! He had a very relaxed, natural style and went above and beyond. He made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day. Our guests noted how hard he worked on the day. Most importantly he captured all the detail, fun and laughter of the day.
When we started planning we decided that we wanted things to be as personal as possible and make as much ourselves as we could. Having ‘Brown Owl’ as my mother-in-law-to-be made this a lot easier. Jennie from Hansley Beard helped us to create our desired look with lots of help from our bridesmaids, best man and friends. We had homemade bunting, pom poms, table numbers, seating plan, card box, paper covered jars as centre pieces. We also used fairy lights to decorate the mezzanine. We had bright coloured ribbons hanging from the back of all the chairs and a ribbon drop which cascaded from the mezzanine to the dance floor. I went to the Parkway Flower Market with Jennie, other than Gerberas which are my favourite flowers I wasn’t that particular, it was mainly the colours I was looking for. We incorporated all the flowers from the bouquets as well as Golden Glory, lime green and yellow bloom Chrysanthemums. Jennie then arranged all the flowers for the venue and centre pieces, and made these look great, she truly was amazing!
Tony’s mum and I made homemade rhubarb jam for our favours. The rhubarb was home grown in Tony’s dad’s allotment.
I love baking so the wedding cake was very important. We had a four-tiered cake covered with bright coloured hearts. The actual cake was striped coloured Victoria sponge with butter cream and made by Gemma at Iced Gems. We had two wooden birds with matching hearts as cake toppers which we got from Etsy.
We didn’t want to have a formal three-course wedding meal so we decided to have afternoon tea with prosecco for our wedding breakfast. In the evening we had pie and peas with plenty of Henderson’s relish!
The entertainment was really important to us, we wanted a big party with all our friends and family, and I love to dance. For our ceremony we had a friend, Rebecca Guy sing and play her guitar. As a wedding present my parents got Paul Pashley, Sheffield’s answer to Michael Bublé, to sing at our evening reception. Not only does he have an amazing voice, he was a little bit of eye candy for the ladies. We then had a DJ who played us into the early hours.
We did include quite a few special touches in our big day. Tony’s mum made a very cute ring cushion for Reuben, our page boy, in the same material as the bunting and sewed buttons all over it, he was very proud of his special job.
We hired some beautiful vintage crockery from Jameson’s Tearoom for the afternoon tea, and one of the highlights was their teacup glasses which we served the prosecco in.
We chose big illuminated ‘LOVE’ letters from Typical Type as a backdrop to our dance floor, and our homemade photo booth and they were the talk of all our guests. Once we had decided on the letters it helped us decide on our first dance – L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole sang by Paul Pashley.
We both share a love of sweets, so a sweet table was a must. We brought in our theme by laying the table with ribbons, we used the same paper we had used for the centre pieces for the sweet labels and homemade pin wheels, and then had bright coloured paper fans as the backdrop to the table.
I found a finger print poster tree from Etsy which was a wonderful alternative to a guest book. Our guests added their fingerprints as ‘leaves’ to the tree and wrote their names. We now have this framed and it acts as a daily reminder of our special day and the guests we shared it with.
My favourite part of the wedding day came at the end of our first dance. Jennie, who had helped us to design our wedding day, had arranged with our guests to drop all the off cuts from the ribbons from the mezzanine above the dance floor. This was a total surprise and the only thing throughout the day which we had not planned for. This was an amazing moment which Tony, our photographer, captured perfectly and we have used one of these images for our thank you cards.
We went on honeymoon two days after or wedding; we spent two days is Dubai and eight in the Maldives. Dubai was very hot and we packed in a lot within the two days; tours of the city and a dessert safari. Then the Maldives, which was absolute paradise, was the total opposite to Dubai, quiet and relaxing, which was exactly what we needed after the wedding.
My advice to other Brides Up North would be to do what makes you happy and have the day that you want, not what others expect of you. That is so important. You want to look back on your day and know that you had it exactly how you wanted it. It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t follow traditions or you think people won’t like your ideas, as long as you do, that’s all that matters. Tony’s advice would be at some point during the wedding breakfast, to go around each table and speak with your guests and thank them for coming, as it’s a very busy day and you don’t get chance to spend very much time with anyone. Our collective advice is to make sure you both take time together to have a few moments to take everything in as the day will go past so fast.
It rained for the most of our day, but like Louis Armstrong sang, we didn’t care what the weather man said, when the weatherman said it was raining as you didn’t hear us or anyone else complaining!
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