January 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
We’re getting your week off to a beautiful start here on this stunning real wedding in The Lake District.
Keen to make their big day both pretty and personal, Lucy and Chris, along with help from family and friends, styled the venue themselves and added little handmade touches along the way to make the occasion all the more memorable.
With images by Brides Up North ‘Supplier We Love’ James Tracey Photography.
lucy says: We got engaged in June 2014 at Surprise View in the Lake District overlooking Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake. Chris got down on one knee whilst we were walking with the dog during a holiday to visit some of Chris’s family who live in Cumbria. Unfortunately Chris had forgotten that Surprise View is a bit of a tourist hotspot and the engagement nearly happened in front of a coach full of sightseers!
Our chosen venue was New House Farm in Lorton, Cumbria. We had looked at a few venues but New House Farm was the only place that we could fully customise to our own taste and let our imaginations run wild! Chris also used to go there for afternoon tea with his grandparents and mum when he was a child, so the family link was a lovely touch. Hazel at New House Farm was just so easy to deal with and let us really put our own mark on the space.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted the day to be personal to us, and be different to any other wedding that our friends and family might go to. Our colour scheme was neutral romantic creams and golds. I wanted it to be subtle and timeless.
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January 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime
We shared Amanei and Erik’s love story on the blog last summer, and we are thrilled that they have chosen to return to our pages to show off their stunning autumnal wedding at one of our very favourite North East Wedding venues, The Alnwick Garden.
The couple’s dutch inspired Delft blue colour scheme is striking and beautiful in the golden setting of the gorgeous winter gardens.
Images by Julie Barron Photography.
amanei says: Erik proposed just before midnight on October 25th 2014, at Oblix Restaurant at the Shard, during an amazing weekend away in London. As a surprise he’d also arranged for some of my family to be there the following day for a meal together to celebrate before travelling home. It was a surprise, however as he’d had the ring since August, I knew it was on the cards!
We chose 22nd November 2015 for our wedding date as we really wanted a winter wedding, but didn’t want it to be too close to Christmas (no Santa at our reception please!).
Our ceremony was held at our local and gorgeous parish Church in Gosforth, The Sacred Heart, and after a lot of searching we found the perfect winter reception venue, The Alnwick Garden. The outside festive garden lighting and the magical treehouse were exactly what we were looking for, and more.
The theme was Winter Woodland simply due to the time of the year and as it matched the venue so well. The colour scheme we chose was Delft, as my husband is Dutch we thought it was a lovely touch to have this as our colour scheme.
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December 17th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Having tied the knot legally in a small ceremony in Germany back in 2011, today’s wedding couple decided to throw a big celebration nearer to home to mark their commitments to each other, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.
Taking four years to organise (huge kudos guys!), Florelena and Alexander finally manged to get all their family and friends from across the globe together in Durham for one heck of a wedding day (we particularly love the sound of ‘the crazy hour’!)
Laid back, personal and fun, it’s clear to see that the journey was worth it to all!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Darren Mack Photography.
florelena says: We got engaged in September 2010. I had been out and I got home quite late. When I entered the bedroom Alex was waiting for me and then I saw a Goofy doll – my favourite Disney character – and an open ring box between its legs. I looked at Alex and he asked: “will you marry me?” I felt so happy I just wanted to hug him forever!
We got married legally on the 11th January 2011 in Germany, where Alex’s family lives; we were there on holiday, we had the time and the papers, and we thought why not? We then decided that we’d celebrate our religious wedding in Durham in 2015. It took us four years to plan, because our family and friends are spread out all over the world. Thankfully we managed to bring everyone together and it was a total success. We loved it.
We got married at Crook Hall and Gardens, in Durham. We knew from the beginning we wanted a country-style wedding, so we wanted a natural setting, with lots of grass and flowers (fortunately we also had good weather on the day). This venue was incredible. It is a spectacular place and the staff is very professional. They did an incredible job!
Except for the country setting we did not have a special theme, all we wanted was for our guests, which came from many different countries and spoke a total of 11 different languages, to overcome their language barrier and to become familiar with one another. I think they all tried their best and the party was a total success!
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November 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime
To get your week off to a pretty start, we’re sharing with you Elizabeth and Rory’s elegant wedding day that took place in Yorkshire.
Deciding to stick with tradition for their ceremony, Elizabeth and Rory picked the church connected to their son’s school in which to say their ‘I dos’. Once wed the bride, groom and their guests then all enjoyed a marquee reception in a rural location which boasted beautiful countryside views.
With images by Sarah Brabbin Photography.
elizabeth says: We got engaged in October 2014. We’d been over visiting Rory’s friend in Cheshire for the weekend and we went out to Peckforton Castle. We were in the great hall when Rory said ‘look at that over there’ and pointed at some coats of arms on the wall. When I turned back around he was on one knee! Our little boy who was five at the time got down on one knee with him too, totally unrehearsed and unprompted. Rory proposed with his mum’s engagement ring. Sadly she’d lost a two year battle with cancer a month earlier so it was pretty emotional.
We were married on 26th September 2015, at Hoylandswaine Church and then had our reception in a marquee supplied by Black Cherry Events, at Smallshaw Farm Cottages in Millhouse Green, near Sheffield. I always wanted to get married in a church and we chose Hoylandswaine as it’s the church connected to our son’s school. It meant a lot as it’s where we go for his harvest festival, carol concert etc. It’s not our parish church but I went to services regularly to ensure we were eligible.
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October 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
It might be Monday morning but today we’re sharing with you Jennifer and Robert’s stunning Yorkshire wedding, brimming with so much prettiness, that it’s bound to turn any frown upside-down.
Talented bride Jennifer, assisted by her uber helpful mum, crafted all the gorgeous decorations and the beautiful flower arrangements themselves to create a homemade wedding that is elegant through and through. Huge kudos ladies!
With images by Sarah Beth Photography.
jennifer says: We got engaged on Christmas Day in 2008. We were at home opening our presents and Rob handed me a little present and when I opened it there was my ring and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised and so happy. It was extra special as we were expecting our baby in the January.
Our wedding date was Friday 24 July 2015. We chose this date as we wanted a summer wedding and we had to fit in with the school holidays as Rob is a teacher and our daughter Isabelle is at school. Also we wanted to go on our honeymoon soon after the wedding so this date worked perfectly.
We had our whole wedding at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden, Yorkshire. Rob goes road biking and he found the hall when he was biking in the area. We went to see the hall soon after and we knew it was just what we were looking for. We chose the venue as the hall itself is beautiful inside and out and the surrounding gardens are lovely and very picturesque.
We did not have a theme as such, I just wanted a homemade feel to everything and something that was simple but classic which made it possible for me and my mum to do all the decorations ourselves for the whole wedding.
The colours I decided on were pinks, greens, nudes and ivories because I wanted to go for natural pastel colours which were summery and went with our homemade theme.
I chose a ball gown style dress by Jasmine which had a heavy laced bodice and a tulle skirt. I had a drop veil with lace around the edges which went perfect with my dress bodice. I got my dress and my veil from The Wedding Collection in Beverley. I always wanted a simple and elegant dress and when I saw my dress in the shop I knew it was ‘the one’.
Vicci my bridesmaid did my make-up and Zoe of Toni & Guy did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair, which all looked beautiful on the day.
Rob wore a dark blue three piece suit from Slaters with a tailored white shirt with a pink and blue striped tie which fitted in with the colour scheme. He also wore brown shoes from Slaters which went well with his suit.
I had four bridesmaids, our daughter Isabelle who was ‘chief’ and three older bridesmaids: Lizzie, Vicci and Jane. Isabelle wore an ivory dress with a ruffled top and tulle skirt. The older bridesmaids wore beautiful nude dresses from Little Mistress at House of Fraser. All of the dresses had high necklines which were similar to mine. I bought each of the girls a pearl bracelet to wear on the day as a thank you grift and they went perfectly with their dresses.
Rob’s best man, Chris, wore a matching dark blue suit and the rest of the groomsmen wore blue suits and brown shoes with matching ties.
Sarah Beth Photography was our photographer. She had already done our pre-wedding pictures which were brilliant so we knew our wedding photos would be the same. Sarah is a very talented photographer who takes natural/relaxed photos which was just what we wanted. We would highly recommend Sarah as she is very friendly, easy to work with and put us at ease.
For mine and Isabelle’s flowers my mum made us a hand tied bouquet of avalanche roses and gypsophila with hessian and ribbon around the stems. For the other bridesmaids she made hand tied bouquets of gypsophila, which also had hessian and ribbon around the stems. My mum ordered the flowers from a local wholesaler and put them together on the morning of the wedding. She practiced the bouquets numerous times before the wedding so she knew exactly what she was doing.
We wanted to use natural petal confetti which we ordered online from Shropshire Petals. We filled cones with petals and put them in a pretty basket for Isabelle to hand out to all the ladies to throw.
For Rob and all the groomsmen I made buttonholes using gypsophila and entwined small pink beads to match the colours we used.
As with everything for the wedding I wanted as much homemade as I could so I went for simple ideas and seasonal flowers and plants which I knew, with help from my mum, we could do ourselves. All the flowers we used were sourced from wholesalers, various garden centres and all the greenery was from my mum’s friend’s garden.
For all the tables we used various sized glass vases, which we personalised by wrapping jute around and tied pretty ribbon bows which we then filled with avalanche and heavenly pink roses and gypsophila. We also put mirrored plates under the lit hurricane vases for the centre pieces and had lots of glass tea light holders around the tables.
To decorate the hall we used potted hydrangeas and geraniums which when put in large unusual metal hanging baskets, wicker baskets and urns, creating large impressive arrangements in keeping with the hall.
The mantel arrangement on the entrance fire place was bunches of different greenery, hydrangeas and roses which we put together to look like a garland and, with the glass hurricane lanterns on either side, made it quite a feature.
My mum made some wicker hearts well before the wedding and to some of them we wired dried hydrangeas and tied jute and ribbon bows on for the staircase. The rest we tied on fresh gypsophila for the chair ends at the ceremony.
As well has making our own arrangements I also made the napkin holders, which I wrapped pieces of hessian and pink ribbon around and tied a luggage tag with the guest’s name on. I made the table plan using a board with jute string attached at both sides and I hung cut-out squares of hessian (name list printed and stuck on) with pegs.
Finally, I decorated a sweet table for everyone to tuck into on the evening. I used a long trestle table and put all the sweets in jars. I put small pink potted flowers on the table and I made the ‘sweets’ banner by cutting out squares of hessian and then using a stencil and white paint to put the letters onto each piece of hessian.
For favours, I filled kraft brown pillow boxes from Hobbycraft with Ferrero Rocher and tied raffia around finished off with a small pink artificial rose. These went down well after the wedding breakfast.
We decided not to go for a traditional wedding cake and instead had a vintage style stand with a Victoria sponge cake on the top tier and cupcakes on the bottom tiers. The cupcakes were vanilla, chocolate and lemon. I wanted it to be simple but pretty so the cake was plainly iced, with ribbon around the bottom and a simple rose on the top. The cupcakes were iced with little flowers/sprinkles on the top. All this was done by Cupcake Carousel who we would definitely recommend as it all tasted delicious.
We used Bon Appetit, located in Broughton, as our caterers who supplied a carvery for our wedding breakfast as we wanted something we enjoyed and loved having at home with our families. We followed this with a trio of desserts, which was lovely so we could all have a little of each. For the evening reception we had a fish and chip van (which was a big hit) and had the cupcakes as the dessert.
For the entertainment on the evening we had a DJ, Andy and Jamie of Ace Disco Party Sounds, as we wanted a room where people could go and have a dance which everyone enjoyed. We used Ace Disco because we have already used them on a previous occasion and they were excellent and again at the wedding they did a brilliant job and the dancefloor was packed all night.
We would highly recommend Saltmarshe Hall to other couples as it is a beautiful place and the grounds, which overlook the River Ouse, are amazing. Kate, who owns the hall, and Katie her wedding coordinator, could not have been more accommodating. We met with Kate and Katie at the hall a number of times before so we could let them know how we wanted our day and they ran through everything with us. On the day they made sure the whole thing ran very smoothly and it went to plan perfectly. We hired the hall for the day and we were able to decorate it just how we wanted. There is also accommodation in the hall and cottages in the grounds for any guests which are wanting to stay over.
The ceremony and the approach to the ceremony were my favourite parts of the day as it was so nice to walk down the stairs and through the hall and see all of our hard work put into place and then to walk down the aisle with my dad, daughter and bridesmaids seeing Rob at the end and all of our close family and friends there to celebrate our special day with us.
On the Sunday after the wedding, we jetted off to Alcudia in Majorca. It was lovely and relaxing and a perfect way to finish off our wedding celebrations. We took our daughter with us so it was also a lovely family holiday.
It was great doing a lot of the wedding ourselves and made it all the more special on the day, but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to find what you need and to practice beforehand to make sure you get it how you want it. It is worth every minute when you see the finished results!
August 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s bride and groom were faced with organising their wedding from overseas as they now live in Melbourne but returned Rachael’s family roots for their big day. The distance didn’t appear to cause too many problems though as their winter wedding at Cheshire’s Belle Epoque came together beautifully.
Letting the venue speak for itself, Rachael added a few extra sparkling touches, including glitter and candles, for the twinkling, cosy winter wedding she desired.
Another touch of sparkle was added at the end of the wedding with a sparkler arch in the street, which attracted the attention of local pub goers and the even the police, who were all keen to pass on their congratulations to the happy couple.
Images by Adam Riley Photography.
rachael says: We got engaged on the top of Kilimanjaro in December 2013. It was the start of a three month trip overland from Nairobi to Cape Town. I was really sick from altitude sickness and it took a whole lot of willpower to get to the summit. When we did get to the top, James got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – it was the first smile in 36 hours of non-stop vomiting up the last 1,000m of mountain! He had planned on waiting until Cape Town where we were meeting my parents and asking dad’s permission, but he was so impressed with me getting to the top of the mountain he did it there instead. The other story his three brothers like to tell is that he capitalised on my lack of oxygen to the brain!
Our wedding date was 10th January 2015. We chose it because I was re-training to be a teacher during 2014 and was busy studying full time so didn’t want a UK summer wedding. We were planning on coming back to the UK (we live near Melbourne) for Christmas so we thought it seemed like a good time to get married. Plus James has a very big family – including nine nieces and nephews – so we knew that if there was any chance of them making a UK wedding it would be during Australian summer school holidays. Rather than wait for 18 months so we could have a UK summer wedding I thought I would embrace a twinkly, cosy winter wedding instead.
The wedding was at my mum and dad’s local church in Cotebrook near Tarporley, and the reception was held at the Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We chose Belle Epoque for several reasons, firstly a lot of the more traditional wedding venues we felt were a bit too over the top and grand for what we wanted, but we wanted something that had character and a heritage feel to it. Secondly we felt that Belle Epoque was ideal for a winter wedding as all the guests were in a relatively small area which made it easier for us to spend time with everyone. Obviously the food was also a big reason to have it there!
Eventually we did have a theme that came about, but it wasn’t something that I struck upon from day dot! I used to cringe when asked what theme we were having! We had a theme in as much as the table names were named after the mountain huts and summit points on Kilimanjaro and we ended up having the most fabulous Kilimanjaro wedding cake (my husband’s genius idea!), plus our first dance was Wimoweh!
Again, the colour scheme just happened, it wasn’t at all planned. My sister Lorna (who has a stationery company called Toots Designs) designed our beautiful wedding stationery and took her cue for colours from the Belle Epoque period so they were a sort of hyacinth blue/purple and silver combination. I chose bridesmaid dresses from House of Fraser that I loved that were a very dark navy blue, and we had hyacinths in our bouquets. Then there was a lot of silver sparkle on the tables.
I had planned on picking my dress in the UK while I was back for three weeks last July so that I could have my mum and sister there with me. That didn’t happen quite as planned! I went to check out some bridesmaid dresses in Melbourne that my sister had found but had to wait for an appointment to view them. In the meantime I headed into a few of the other bridal shops and found my dress. I didn’t love it on the rack but once it was on I really loved the way it looked and the detail on the back of it. The wedding dress shop were really difficult about taking photos of it to send to my mum and sister, so I ended up skyping them both a week or so later while trying it on!
James wore a really nice suit from Austin Reed, a grey silk suit and his waistcoat and tie were navy blue with small white squares on. The best man and ushers wore grey suits with a navy blue tie.
Our wedding transport for the day was a beautiful Jaguar hired from Decadence Wedding Carriages.
Adam Riley was our photographer. My mum and dad had met him at a wedding fair in January 2014 and picked up his brochure. I picked him out straight away and mum and dad said he was their choice too but hadn’t wanted to sway me! I followed Adam’s page on Facebook before we got married and was so excited to see how our photos would turn out. I had such high expectations which can be a bit dangerous…but Adam exceeded them with what he captured. All of our guests commented how well the photos captured the fun and atmosphere of the day. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Adam to anyone. On the day I don’t know how he got the shots he did as you barely noticed he was there!
My wedding flowers were a mix of thistles and roses (I’m half Scottish), with some eucalyptus as a nod to the Australian part! The bridesmaids had hyacinths in their bouquets too, which are my favourite smelling flowers. Charlotte at the Little Potting Shed worked wonders on the day too decorating the church. I have no idea how she did it, but she managed to get into the church after our service, untie all of the pew ends and take them across to Belle Epoque and place them around the venue there!
One of the reasons I liked Belle Epoque was that they have quite ornate decorations around the venue anyway and it didn’t need too much decorating. As I was out of the country I wanted to make the wedding venue decorating part as easy as possible. The extra decorations were very simple – I ordered different silver candle holders from Amazon along with table sparkly bits and kept each table quite simple. My sister did all the place cards, table plan and table names and menus which looked fantastic.
Gemma McGrillis at Baked in Bunbury made us the most amazing cake. She spent about half an hour taking a brief on what my dress was like, the colour of the flowers etc and then produced mocked up images of some potential designs. They were all beautiful and we were spoilt for choice. But then James had the idea of having a Kilimanjaro cake, and what Gemma produced was a masterpiece – and delicious too.
I also put together a photobook to go on the cake table of our pictures from the Kilimanjaro climb, lots of people wouldn’t have seen them and many commented how nice it was to look through them.
As entertainment we had a ceilidh provided by Triple Scotch as my dad’s Scottish. All of the weddings I have been to with my Scottish family have had ceilidhs and are great fun. Everyone takes part and joins in which makes it lots of fun. We also had a disco.
Our first dance was Wimoweh (the original ‘In the Jungle’ song) as this was our silly song we played while we were planning our trip to Africa, and kind of became the theme song for the trip. I knew I was going to be quitting my job to go so we jokingly code named the trip project wimbaway in any emails to family and friends just in case my bosses were reading emails! My sister and mum thought we should have it as our first dance as we don’t have a particular song we are both attached to, but I thought it was a bit too silly and was a bit worried about what people might think! But the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea, then we had a few dancing lessons to put a routine together for it – although we messed it up on the day because we were laughing too much!
Instead of a guestbook my sister designed the most fabulous poster to sign which is now framed at home. It is a heart shape made out of half British icons and half Australian icons with our names and the date on it. Most of our guests signed this and it’s lovely to be able to display it. My sister is one talented girl and what she did for our stationery I know other people would have paid a lot for, I can’t thank her enough for all of her help and brilliant work.
There were so many brilliant moments during the wedding, but the sparkler arch at the end of the day was amazing. I had seen the idea and thought it was a nice way to end the evening and had it all cleared with the venue that we would do it on the roof terrace. While I was putting my nanna in a taxi to take her home I got chatting to the security man on the door who was lovely – turned out he had climbed Kilimanjaro too and his parents were from Uganda. I told him the plans for the sparkler arch and he said to leave it with him and he would get the road shut off to traffic while we did it! He did just that and we had a sparkler arch down King Street in Knutsford! People from the Rose and Crown came out to watch and I got hugs and congratulations from total strangers. However, the best part was the fact that the first car that had been stopped in the traffic was a police car. He put on his flashing lights and put on his PA system to congratulate us both. It was something that couldn’t have been organised but was such a special and unique way to end a fantastic day.
The best tip I got given that I would pass on to other Brides Up North is to take time together to enjoy the day. It goes so quickly (everyone told me that but I didn’t realise how quickly), so make sure you take the time just to sit back and watch what is happening. Our car ride to the venue after our service was a really nice chance to do that.
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