January 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Sarah and Matt’s relaxed, family-focused wedding combines two of our favourite themes at Brides Up North: plenty of organic woodland elements with a gorgeous blush, gold, mocha and burgundy colour scheme.
However, as these photographs show, you don’t have to compromise on style to have the informal, child-friendly wedding of your dreams. Sarah’s Jenny Packham gown and breathtaking oversized bouquet are just two super-stylish details from this stunning day.
With images by Jess Yarwood.
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas Day almost seven years before the wedding. We’d been together five years and I was pregnant with our eldest daughter. Matt proposed with a big flower ring (not the real ring!) in bed on Christmas morning.
We were married on 7th October 2016. There was no special reason behind the date – in fact, getting married in 2016 was only an idea at the start of the year. We went to a family party (my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary) in April 2016, and loved the family being together so much that we decided we should get married the same year. So, we had to crack on and find a venue/date! I knew I wanted it to be in autumn but as early as possible so that it might still be warm enough.
We got married at Trafford Hall near Chester. A couple of people had recommended it as they’d been to weddings there but we had never been. We went to a wedding fair there and fell in love with it. We didn’t look at any other venues – we just knew straight away that it was the right venue for us.
Because of the nature of the venue we decided on a loose nature/woodland/botanical theme for the wedding. I love trees and plants and flowers and wanted to incorporate some greenery into the day.
The main colour scheme was mocha and burgundy with dusky pink, gold and lots of green! Originally the bridesmaids dressed were dusky pink but we had a few issues with the dresses and ended up having to change everything mid-August!
I chose a Jenny Packham dress called Betty, which I bought from Lillya Grace Bridal Boutique in Nantwich. I actually bought another dress in Chester first and realised quickly that it wasn’t what I wanted; it wasn’t in keeping with the style of the rest of the wedding and I had to find something else instead. When I saw the Jenny Packham I knew straight away that this was the perfect dress for me. I wanted something that was natural and elegant and not too structured. A little bit vintage with some detail but not over the top. It was amazing – it fell perfectly and looked fabulous in the pictures.
Holly Lander did my makeup – she was fantastic and helped out with other things too – she even went to the bar to get a bottle of pre-wedding bubbly! Emily Banks did the hair for me and the bridesmaids and Amy Lofthouse did the flower girls’.
Matt and the groomsmen wore blue suits from Next. The groom wore a mocha tie while the groomsmen wore burgundy ties.
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August 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though today’s couple remained in the north of the UK to tie the knot, they looked to the dreamy country of Italy to provide romantic influences to help set the scene for their big day.
A soft colour palette of pink and white reflected through Rachel’s choice of bridesmaid dresses and blooms created an elegant feel which was further enhanced with pretty lace additions in the bride’s dress, the stationery and décor.
When the big day came to an end, Rachel and Jonathan continued their love affair with Italy by jetting off to Venice on a five-day honeymoon. Oh, and the lucky little things have a second honeymoon to Mexico all lined up too. Jealous much?
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.
rachel says: We initially met very briefly at a bar in Darlington. Two weeks later we bumped into one another whilst out with friends in Yarm – the rest, as they say, is history! We had been together for five years when Jonathan proposed whilst we were on holiday on the island of Thassos in Greece, back in August 2013. He popped the question to me whilst we were sipping cocktails in a little bar overlooking the sea. I of course said ‘yes’ and we spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne and celebrating our news with the locals. I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning and amazing setting.
We got married on 4th May 2015. We both love every season for its uniqueness but chose May for our wedding month as we thought that the scenery at the chosen venue would be beautiful at that time of year. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the 4th May is also known as ‘Star Wars Day’ to its fans. Luckily all guests dressed suitably and there was not a fancy dress costume in sight!
We got married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. We found the venue from an article I was reading in a magazine. The article detailed how Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had visited the hall for his brother’s wedding and had stayed in the Crow’s Nest, a luxury self-contained apartment. We were amazed by the pictures of Eshott. We both fell in love with the stain glass window and staircase in the main part of the hall. We arranged an appointment to visit straight away.
Our theme was Italian romance as we wanted the day to be very elegant. To complement the theme we had a blush pink and white colour scheme with touches of lace, which emphasised the soft romantic feel we were looking for.
I had a few ideas of the type of dress I wanted and visited a number of bridal boutiques before going back to one of the first dresses I tried on at Dobinsons of Darlington. The dress was very ‘me’. It was a lace design with a sweetheart neckline by Stella York. I always knew I wanted lace and something figure hugging due to my petite frame. I decided to add a unique feature to the dress to make it my own and so Dobinson’s stitched a diamante belt into the gown. This finished it off perfectly and when the long veil went on, I was totally in love!
On the wedding day I used Paul David Hairdressers in Darlington to style my hair, and Make-up by Jo to do the beauty side of things. My makeup stayed fresh all day, and Jo gave such a professional service.
Jonathan wore a three piece blue suit hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.
The bridesmaids dresses were purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. Again to add some uniqueness to the dresses we purchased embellishments for the dresses and Poppy’s added these for us. We all agreed they looked perfect.
Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography took our wedding day photos. We knew from day one that they would be our perfect choice as they were the photographers at my sister’s wedding some nine years earlier. We both love Stan and Jane’s work and knew they would capture our very special moments. The experiences, from the pre wedding shoot, to the big day and then seeing our wedding pictures presented to us on a big screen, were all amazing. We felt that both Stan and Jane put in a lot of effort getting to know us. On the day they both made us feel at ease and felt like one of our friends. Having received our photos we would highly recommend Stan Seaton Photography. The photographs captured both myself and Jonathan’s personality and also special candid moments. We wanted the images to be elegant and romantic and we both feel that Stand and Jane instinctively understood this.
Due to our ceremony being held in the chapel, which was within the grounds of the venue, we did not have a need for transportation, however I was taken to the chapel in my father’s car which was beautifully decorated with wedding bows.
Our invitations were made by Polina Perri, who specialise in luxury/ vintage wedding invitations. They were beautifully presented and featured an antique brooch and lace.
Our flowers were provided by Eliza Bloom in Darlington. My bouquet was made up of pink and white roses. In the reading room/ chapel we had a tall candelabra with an arrangement on the register table and outside we had an arch decorated with flowers. In the wedding breakfast we had eight table candelabras with candles and flowers and an arrangement at the top table. The room looked so elegant and beautiful. When you see all the little touches coming together it really does take your breath away.
We gave our guests ‘his and hers’ favours in the form of alcohol miniatures; Baileys for the ladies and a selection for the men. For the children we had a chocolate pot from Hotel Chocolat.
Our cake was a work of art created by Burnett 4 Cakes and had a different flavour in each of the four tiers: chocolate orange, chocolate, lemon drizzle and sponge.
We choose the Chameleon Band to provide our entertainment. We researched a lot of bands but these came highly recommended and they were worth it, they even asked us for a list of ‘special songs’ for them to learn which they then played on the night. We also had a pianist playing at the reception, which was beautiful.
Following our wedding I would highly recommend Eshott Hall to other couples. It not only blew us away, but our guests can’t stop talking about it!
Our favourite part of the wedding had to be seeing each other for the first time on the day. We had spent so long preparing for our wedding day, that when the moment came and we finally saw each other we both got very emotional, as did the congregation.
When it came to the honeymoon we were spoilt and booked two! We went on a five night break to Venice, straight after the wedding. We loved it, we transferred to and from Venice in a private speedboat and stayed in an amazing hotel Carlton on the Grand. Our room there overlooked the Grand Canal – it was truly amazing, we felt like royalty. We had some fantastic experiences in a variety of excellent restaurants, a trip we will never forget!
We now look forward to heading to Mexico for two weeks, where our days will be filled lounging on the golden sands by the beautiful sea and then on an evening we will be spoilt with some amazing food in some fabulous restaurants sipping cocktails at the Excellence Riviera Hotel as husband and wife!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be to savour every moment as the day goes by so quickly.
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July 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When putting together this post on Christina and Chris’s wedding I actually cried. The sentiment of Christina’s words regarding her family, who she clearly loves dearly, is so sincere that I couldn’t help welling up with a couple of tears then sent streaming down my face when she spoke of the dance she shared with her Granddad. A truly special moment that I’m sure she will cherish for years!
Keen to feel like a real princess for the day, Christina fell in love with Walworth Castle as the setting for the big day. Along with the help of groom Chris, she then planned an elegant wedding that was special yet simple, keeping the main focus on what weddings are all about – love!
With images by Essence of the Moment Photography.
christina says: We got engaged in July 2013 in Las Vegas. Chris had planned to ask me outside the Bellagio as the fountains were playing and had been planning it for months, but due to the heat I fainted and ruined the moment. Instead, he asked me when we had been out for a lovely dinner that same evening back at our hotel. After checking that he had asked my Grandfather’s permission, I said yes.
Our wedding date was 23rd August 2014. We selected this date as it was a bank holiday so we knew that people would be off work and able to attend and it would give us time together following our wedding.
We got married at Walworth Castle in West Auckland, Darlington. We chose this venue as being a History teacher I love castles and loved the idea of being a princess for the day. We looked at other venues but from the moment that we drove up the drive of the castle, I knew that it was perfect.
I wanted my wedding to be simple and elegant. I really wanted to focus on Chris and I getting married rather than anything else. I therefore tried to combine vintage ideas with elegance which would reflect both of our styles.
In terms of colours, I chose lilac and ivory as I felt that they were nice, summer shades and I also knew that my sister would look beautiful in lilac.
My wedding dress was from First Glance Bridal in Sunderland and was made by Allure Bridal. It was the second dress that I tried on and I instantly fell in love with it. I loved the delicate lace but also the train giving it a vintage yet dramatic feel. I never imagined that I would choose a form fitting dress, but from the moment that I put on the dress I knew that it was the one. I chose to only take my Grandmother with me when choosing a dress and she loved it too.
My shoes were made by an American designer and were modelled on Bella’s shoes from the Twilight movies as I fell in love with them when I first saw them in the Twilight wedding. My headpiece was from Rocks and Roses bridal boutique and my diamond bracelet was borrowed from my Grandmother.
Chris wore a grey suit with lilac accessories and an ivory waistcoat from Troughear Suit Hire at Gilesgate in Durham. The owner has been friends with my father in law for years so we knew that this was the place we would use. We chose grey as both my husband and his brother, the best man, have dark hair and I felt it would complement both their hair and skin tones and the colour scheme. Chris wore shoes from Kurt Geiger.
My sister, who was my maid of honour, wore a lilac Grecian style dress from a brand called Diva Sophia, which is stocked in Harrods. I felt that it would suit her figure and wanted her to feel comfortable as well as looking elegant. Her shoes were from Next and her clutch bag was from Accessorize.
The best man wore the same suit as Chris from Troughear Suit Hire as we wanted them to match and complement my sister’s dress.
Our photographer was Jed Wee from Essence of the Moment Photography. I would highly recommend Jed as he shot some beautiful photos and really captured our style and personalities. He made us feel very relaxed and was willing to be flexible with what we wanted. On the evening, my good friend Helen took many beautiful shots and we also had a photo booth to give us some slightly different images.
I love fresh flowers however when it came to my bouquet, I decided that I wanted something with more of a vintage feel and something that I could keep as a memento of the day. I therefore had my bouquets made by a company called Ditsy Bride, who I found online. She made me a beautiful bouquet with silk flowers, pearls, vintage brooches and lace and made a miniature version for my sister, plus she did the button holes. They were stunning.
For the reception I purchased and styled all of the decorations myself. I used several websites such as Not on the High Street and Confetti and also attended several wedding fayres to gather ideas. My chair covers and sashes were hired from Princess Occasions whom I found online and my sister took care of these for me, as she is fantastic with small details, while I decorated the venue. My centrepiece flowers came from Flowers 4 U, a local florist in Durham.
For favours the female guests had a small box designed on a bridal gown with two heart shaped chocolates inside and the male guests had a box in the shape of a suit with the same chocolates inside. The chocolates were from Hotel Chocolat and were wrapped in lilac foil. The children were given a heart-shaped chocolate lolly wrapped in lilac foil, again from Hotel Chocolat.
For the cake, we decided that we wanted a traditional fruit cake as it is Chris’s favourite and we knew it would be popular with our families. We were very lucky that Chris’s lovely Aunty Heather makes and sells beautiful cakes and offered to make our cake for us. We looked through several cake books and wedding magazines and eventually chose a petal and butterfly design with lilac detailing and ivory icing to match our colour scheme. Heather also made some beautiful cupcakes with the same lilac butterflies resting on the icing for the children.
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