December 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Though we didn’t need anymore reason to get the mulled wine heating on the hob and the Baileys chilling in the fridge, Friday has arrived signaling the ok for a little indulgence. As such we’re treating your eyes to this true beauty of a real wedding, which took place in the beautiful city of York.
Lisa and Steve chose the stunning Grays Court, for their big day celebrations – a stunning, historic building which dates back to the 11th century. As luck would have it, the sun shone brightly on their wedding day and they unexpectedly ended up saying their vows in the venue’s garden, surrounded by candelabras, plinths, candles and flowers – a dreamy outdoors ceremony if ever we saw one! What we love most about the venue though, is that it looks like a secret hideaway – you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the midst of a serene countryside setting as opposed to the heart of a city.
From the inspired grey colour scheme and Lindt chocolate favours, to the string quartet and elegant red velvet cake – there are lots of wonderful details to pore over. Our highlight though has to be the photos captured after dark, with fairy lights and dark shadows at play for some truly romantic shots!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged on my birthday, 10th April 2016. I love history and one of my favourite places is Hever Castle in Kent; Anne Boleyn’s childhood home. Steve surprised me with a trip to Hever. We stayed at the castle and while in the gardens, he proposed on one knee with a ring! He arranged for champagne on ice in our room for our return. It was perfect.
Our wedding date was 14th October, and we chose Grays Court in York as our venue. We love York and go whenever we can. I love Grays Court because it dates back to the 11th century, it’s beautiful with the gardens backing onto York wall and boasts views of the Minster. We’ve stayed there a few times and I knew that’s where I wanted to get married.
Our colour scheme was grey which matched the venue, as well as being my favourite colour. I didn’t have a theme in mind but realised along the way I’d chosen grey for quite a lot of things!
I chose an Ian Stuart gown. I loved his style straight away and found a bridal shop which stocked his gowns. The dress is called Angelica. It originally had a high neck and was sleeveless with a low back, but Ian Stuart made the dress strapless at my request.
Steve wore a light grey suit from Spencer’s in Liverpool. Meanwhile, our bridesmaids wore Dessy and the colour choice was stormy.
I didn’t need transport on the wedding day as I stayed at the venue the night before. Steve stayed at The Grand and walked through York with his friends to Grays.
September 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
For some couples, there’s no better setting for their big day than their home. Given that there is space, we can see the attraction – a place that the couple feel comfortable in and know inside out, the ability to style the wedding exactly as they wish and the opportunity to party late into the night. What’s not to love?
Favouring an at home for these very reasons, today’s real wedding couple Katie and Jordan planned a traditional church ceremony followed by a marquee wedding at their house in Cuddington.
Now people, don’t let anyone ever tell you a wedding marquee can’t be glamorous because Katie and Jordan, with the help of some talented suppliers, absolutely aced the styling. They transformed the plain white canvass into a luxurious setting complete with opulent blooms, chic mirrored décor and gorgeous ghost style chairs.
We also have to say that we’re totally in love with Katie’s big day look; from that super-pretty Ian Stuart gown to her pale blue M&S shoes – pure top-to-toe perfection!
With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.
katie says: We got engaged in June 2015 while on our first holiday as a family after having our son, Jenson. We were in Portugal and went to one of our favourite restaurants, Piri Piri. I was already suspicious as family were acting strange! Jordan had picked the ring himself and it was perfect fit – everything, we celebrated with champagne!
We set the date for Saturday 8th July 2017. Our ceremony was at St John’s church, Norley, followed by marquee reception at our home in Cuddington.
We both wanted a marquee for the reception as we felt it would be more personal would give us control over everything. It also meant that we could carry on partying as long as we wanted, and could invite as many as we wanted!
Jordan and I had attend a lot of marquee weddings and so we wanted to make sure that ours stood out. We wanted it to look classy, glam and luxurious and so we picked a white, grey and silver colour scheme.
My wedding dress Paradis was by designer Ian Stuart. I got it from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. After trying on numerous dresses in numerous shops this dress just stood out as it was completely different to all the others!
I picked a pair of blue shoes from Marks & Spencer. I wanted to be able to wear them again after the wedding – which I have done many times already!
Jordan wore blue suit with a grey tweed waistcoat, silver tie and tan shoes, all from Maria Modes’ menswear department. The groomsmen had suits to match and Jenson also wore a matching suit to his daddy.
On the day of the wedding we travelled to church in a white Rolls Royce Ghost and matching white Range Rover from Cheshire Luxury Cars.
September 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today on the blog we have some beautiful inspiration for those of you planning winter weddings as we share the details of Emma and Mark’s big day.
Following an Ikea proposal (don’t worry, he made up for it), Emma and Mark set about planning an atmospheric November wedding, complete with lots of soft candlelight and sparkling décor.
Going all out on the opportunity to wear a big dress, bride Emma chose a stunning Ian Stuart gown with accents of shimmering silver to match both the colour scheme and season. Now that’s what we call a dress with the wow-factor!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in Ikea over meatballs! Honestly! But then we had my engagement ring specially made and Mark surprised me with a trip to London to see the Lion King (I love Disney). He got us box seats and had champagne and chocolates put in the box. It was amazing!
As we loved the idea of a Christmas or winter wedding we set the date for 28th November.
Our chosen venue was Armathwaite Hall in Keswick. We both love the Lake District and when we went to look at venues Armathwaite felt really personal. I like modern venues and Mark likes old fashioned and Armathwaite had the perfect blend of both.
To fit the time of year we went for a sparkly wedding theme (with a hint of Disney!) As we knew it would be dark outside we thought lots of sparkles and candles would look great.
When it came to the colour scheme we knew that we didn’t want everyone in the same colour as we had an unconventional bridal party in that the maid of honour was male and we had female groomsmen. I also wanted each of the bridesmaids to have dresses that suited them, rather than sticking to a certain theme. In the end we went for pale pastel colours accented with a silver shimmer.
I chose to wear an Ian Stuart dress from Ava Rose Hamilton. I instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried on about seven or eight dresses beforehand but none of them made me excited, or felt quite so special. I knew I wanted a big dress – the sort that you can only ever wear on your wedding day – but also wanted something that really suited me. I loved the silver woven into the lace of the dress and that it had a huge skirt but fitted silk body. I never thought I would get a strapless dress but the minute I tried it on I knew it was right.
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December 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today we’re giving you a second helping of gorgeous real wedding inspiration in the form of Gemma and Richard’s big day at Upper House.
Taking inspiration from an expert in prettiness, Cath Kidston, Gemma got busy sourcing lots of sweet, vintage buys online to help set the scene before roping in groom Richard to assist with some handmade décor.
The result is a wedding day that’s beautiful, colourful & fun, just as the bride desired!
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
gemma says: We got engaged on 22nd Dec 2013, whilst on a ski holiday in France. After a spectacular gondola ride across to the glacier in La Plagne, Rich suggested we ski away from the crowds to take some photos. We stopped and Rich took off his skis. After rummaging in his coat, he handed me a half bottle of champagne. He continued to rummage. Next appeared two small plastic pots, which transformed into champagne flutes. He got down on one knee and said “Gemma, will you marry me?” and I replied “I absolutely will!” Cue a random Frenchman that took our photo!
We set the date for 18th July 2015. We wanted a summer wedding and we needed to save up – so summer 2015 was an easy choice.
Our wedding took place at Upper House in Hayfield, Derbyshire. We knew from the start that we wanted a venue that was in the Peak District. Rich and I relocated from St. Albans a couple of years ago to live in the Peaks, so we really wanted to show our southern friends why we had moved north!
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October 8th, 2015 | Julia Braime
While we love elegant and classic wedding gowns we also lust after designers that dare to push the boundaries by offering ladies something a little different to the norm with their imaginative bridal creations.
Perhaps one of the most daring (and talented) is British designer Ian Stuart, who never fails to impress with his theatrical and head-turning collections. As such, this morning on the blog we‘re sharing with you Mr Stuart’s latest collection, runway rebel, in all its beauty.
The most highly anticipated collection of the White Gallery 2016 catwalk, buyers and brides alike are always eager to see what the fearless designer has come up with next.
For the Runway Rebel collection, Ian focused his energy on designing for different body shapes, ages and personalities. In doing so, he created a collection that is diverse and versatile, giving every bride the opportunity to find her own style within the Ian Stuart label.
Experimenting with softer fabrics and fluid silhouettes, Ian used his unique flair and couture construction to reach a different spirit of bride and – as the unprecedented ‘king of colour’ – he also introduced stunning softer shades of silver, pink and taupe.
The result is a gutsy and glamorous collection featuring four stand out themes: Ian Stuart Signature Style – textured, playful and dramatic; Sexy and Statuesque – figure hugging with plunging lines and dynamic silhouettes; Romantic and Regal – fairy tale ball gowns, exquisite laces and glittering touches and Fashionista Glamour – modern, unconventional and daring.
Commenting on Runway Rebel, the Ian Stuart design house says: “Adversary to ‘plain and commercial’, Ian is as rebellious in his own nature as he is in his approach to designing bridal wear. He dares to break rules and take risks while keeping the traditional essential beauty of a wedding gown. Runway Rebel pays homage to Ian’s intrinsic values of design, as well as the attitude of the daring modern bride who chooses to wear his creations.”
“Runway Rebel is an uplifting celebration, an ode to life and the freedom to be expressive, creative and rebellious in it.”
July 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Where on earth to start with today’s real wedding, this one has it all!
Following a very romantic proposal (we like your style Mitchell) Emily and her beau decided on a glam winter wedding without a Santa in sight. Instead of a typical festive celebration colour scheme of red this pair went for a lavish palette of taupes, lilac, latte and gold, which looked stunning. To complete their setting vision for the big day they then enlisted the help of Red Floral Architecture to take care of the flowers and décor – and the result? Wow!
The high level of style is continued in Emily and Mitchell’s attire choices with the groom opting for a cool burgundy suit and bow tie and the bride falling for one of Ian Stuart’s most iconic dress designs to date – the fabulous Flower Bomb!
Prepare to take note ladies, there are lots of great special touches and tips in here too. Take it away Emily!
With images by Tim Simpson Photography.
emily says: Mitchell proposed on the 22nd of September 2013 in Filey, North Yorkshire. He asked me to meet him out on the boat house over the lake where we were staying. As I approached the boat house to my utter amazement Mitchell had arranged lots of lanterns and candles in and around the boat house and as I got nearer began to play Bruno Mars Marry You – the rest is history!
Our wedding date was 6th December 2014, which we chose as I have always wanted a winter wedding! There is something so glamorous and magical about winter and Christmas time! We 100% did not want a Christmas themed wedding but did want it near enough to Christmas that our guests would be feeling festive, magical and ready to party! We decided the first Saturday in December would be perfect.
Our wedding venue was Crow Hill in the beautiful unspoilt village of Marsden, Huddersfield. Both Mitchell and I fell in love with Crow Hill and couldn’t have found a better venue for the type of wedding we wanted to plan! We both have large close families with Mitchell’s family all living in London and so having somewhere to house all these guests the night before the wedding and the wedding night was vital for us! Crow Hill is a beautiful country house estate with accommodation for 32 guests across three beautiful properties! This enabled us to have all our close family, bridesmaids, best man etc. stay with us for two whole nights making it the ultimate wedding weekend! Serving a beautiful cosy supper on the Friday night around the open fire of the main property was just the perfect way to start our winter wedding weekend! Our guests could then flit between all properties making the whole thing so relaxed and with the definite ‘house party’ feel we wanted to achieve.
Crow Hill added with the amazing marquee provided a gorgeous, crisp, clean and glamorous space that was important to me when creating the feel for the reception. We didn’t want anything taking away from the decoration for the reception so a marquee was very important. The marquee at Crow Hill is huge with a chandelier gracing the draped ceiling, a built in modern and classy bar area all complete with bar tables, stools and a chic lounge area! Team the venue with beautiful scenery and amazing in-house chef it is just hands down the best venue for this type of wedding. We married in the equally fabulous St Bartholomew’s Church in Marsden village which also was incredibly important to Mitchell and I. A church as magnificent as St Bartholomew’s was just the icing on the cake when choosing this venue.
When it came to styling the wedding we had very definite ideas of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted a glamorous, glittering winter wedding without the ‘Christmassy’ theme. This included using tons of gold and champagne glitter, baroque style candle holders and tons of glamour. We wanted the style to feel really special but still tasteful with a magical, cosy and wintery feel. We decided having lots of twinkling candles, tons of textures and plenty of glitter was the way to achieve this. Our stylists Mat Hepplestone from Red Floral Architecture and Rebecca from Crow Hill where paramount in helping us achieve this!
The colour scheme for the wedding was always something I struggled with. Coming from an artistic background it was hard for me when people asked what is your colour scheme? And expected a one colour answer back! For us it was important to include various colours and tones and not just stick to one typical ‘wedding colour’. The colours included taupes, minks, dirty lilacs, creamy lattes and gold. We felt these colours helped us achieve the magical wintery feel without the usual red and green colours.
I wore an Ian Stuart dress for the wedding which was from the amazingly beautiful Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It was the Flower Bomb dress in Taupe with multi flowers and featured a sweetheart neckline encrusted in Swarovski crystals. The dress had a tight bodice with a dropped waist and then exploded into a skirt full of mixed tulle, flowers and silk with a large train. The dress was completed with a cathedral length waterfall veil and a grey/mink coloured cropped fur jacket. I first saw this amazing dress gracing the window of The Bridal Collection way before we were engaged! I instantly vowed that I would wear the dress for my wedding day and that one day I would get to go inside The Bridal Collection and experience the excitement and awe of all the blushing brides I could see inside. I kept my vow and the whole experience was so special. Trying on that dress for the first time years from when I first saw it was magical and I really did feel like a princess!
My hair and makeup artists on the day were the utterly amazing Flossy and Leigh. Head stylist Sam did me, my mum and bridesmaids’ hair and makeup for the wedding day. They then also touched my makeup up after photographs and before to ensure that I was looking my best. For the evening reception they then totally changed the style of mine, my mum’s and the bridesmaids’ hair and makeup. They are incredible and I couldn’t recommend them enough!
Mitchell wore an amazing suit bought from Next. It was an incredibly stylish, classy dinner suit in an aubergine/burgundy colour. It was then professionally tailored and finished off with a Thomas Pink shirt, matching bow tie and Ted Baker shoes. He wanted an old school Motown look with a modern twist.
The bridesmaids wore full length strapless lace gowns with rouched side and a glam split up the leg. These where bought online. They then wore faux fur stoles and gold glittering shoes! The little flower girls wore handmade tutu dresses made by myself which took inspiration from the Ian Stuart dress and were made from masses of soft tulle and adorned with sparkles and silk flowers! They carried small gold glitter handbags from Monsoon and finished with gold glitter tights and fur trimmed cardigans from Monsoon also.
The groomsmen meanwhile wore classic black dinner suits with aubergine/burgundy bow ties as did the page boys. These were all bought from Moss Bros.
For the big day we hired a glossy black Volkswagen camper van called Stanley, who stylishly transported the groom and groomsmen to the church and also the mother of the bride and the bridesmaids. We hired this beauty from Love Dub Campers, York – an amazing down to earth and friendly company. I travelled in a fabulously glam pale pink 1950s Cadillac hired from Cartwright Cars in Huddersfield, another amazing company! The car looked stunning against the crisp frost and really added to the glamour of the wedding. Both companies where especially fab as they even took guests back up to Crow Hill while we were having photographs, much to our guests’ delight!
Our photographers on the day were the amazing Tim Simpson Photography! We would hugely recommend these guys for their laid back, friendly and amazingly artistic style. They are just gorgeous lovely people who are so amazing at what they do! They are not invasive, they put you at instant ease, they mingle in with your guests capturing the true feel of the day and don’t waste time capturing boring structured traditional shots, instead putting their huge creative and artistic skills to perfect use and really getting those natural professional shots. We love Tim Simpson Photography and feel their connection and the team they have allows them to just cover absolutely everything that great wedding photography should.
My bouquet was designed to reflect the taupe shades of the Ian Stuart Flower Bomb bridal gown. The bouquet was a hand tied style made from masses of mink and taupe flowers including Quicksand, Sahara and Safi roses. The bouquet was accessorized with masses of pearls, crystals and diamantes to reflect the adornments on the bridal gown. Shards of tulle and birdcage veiling also featured throughout the design to reflect the skirt of the gown. The stem of the bouquet was finished with taupe material and finished with an amazing sparkling adornment. It was created and designed by Mat Hepplestone at Red Floral Architecture.
The styling in the marquee reception was also done by Mat at Red Floral Architecture and Rebecca at Crow Hill. The flower centrepieces were a mixture of designs including huge flower balls on ornate gold stands, huge blossom trees, beautiful boxed designs, tall cherub candle designs and a huge central piece which was suspended from the marquee chandelier and hung over the central table! Each design featured masses of roses in the chosen colours.
Each table was also adorned with hanging glass tea lights, hordes of flickering candles on a mixture of candle sticks and mercury glass holders, masses of flower petals and rose heads and each table had luxury linens draping in a mix of champagne and gold sequin cloths and designer bridal lace cloths. The chair covers matched these also with added satin fabric ties on some allowing us to achieve the mix of colours and textures that we really wanted. We also had huge light up letters saying ‘love’ and ‘dance’ provided by Typical Type. These added such drama and a wow factor to the marquee. We also had a light up monogram with our names projected onto the dance floor. Finally we had a tree for our table plan with hanging tags for our guests to find their tables and we had various ornate gold gilt frames around the reception encouraging people to Instagram/Facebook their wedding pictures using a hash tag unique to us.
We gave out favours to each of our day guests, these consisted of little mercury glass heart Christmas tree baubles. These were boxed in small lilac boxes and hand tied with a latte coloured ribbon and each finished with a pearl and diamanté embellishment, which were handmade and finished by Mitchell and myself.
We chose a six tier cake made and designed by Sarah Small at Choose Cake! Along with Sarah we designed and adapted the cake until it was perfect. It featured and ombré ruffle effect on the bottom tier, lace and brushed gold effects throughout the rest of the tiers including a monogrammed plaque with our initials. The final tier finished the cake off with cascading gold sequins and a large sugar paste flower arrangement to add to the overall theme of the wedding. The tiers included chocolate orange, white chocolate and red velvet flavours.
We had a reception welcome drink of hot winter Pimms for guests on arrival and a selection of gourmet canapés. Guests also had access to a hot chocolate bar with a winter lodge theme where they were served hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and various other toppings in takeaway cups monogrammed with our initials and wedding date. We also had a winter candy bar where guests could choose from traditional Scottish tablet hearts. Ferrero Rochers and eggnog lolly pops! The menu was created and provided by Tracy Keppie at Crow Hill who is amazing! The food is to die for and is honestly the best I’ve tasted! She is incredible!
We added quite a few special touches on the day including providing glittering flip flops for guests’ ‘dancing feet’ and a basket of blankets for guests to keep warm outside! We also had a DIY photo booth with a huge array of props for guests to create their own photo memories. At the end of the night each guest was handed a mini bottle of Baileys and a golden box of wedding cake to enjoy as a midnight taxi snack.
We also had makeup stand in the main house of Crow Hill for guests to go get their makeup ‘touched up’ which was provided by the fabulous Flossy and Leigh. Guests could get their eye makeup intensified, try a new lipstick and even have false lashes applied for a small cost. We also had toiletries in the toilets for guests to use to freshen up including deodorant, hair spray, dry shampoo, chewing gum, hair clips etc.
We would 100% recommend our venue to others! Crow Hill is an amazing venue with fabulous staff. They know exactly what they are doing and manage the whole day with a professionalism. The venue is perfect for the ‘house party’ style wedding weekend which is what we wanted. It’s a total gem of a venue that will totally wow your guests! It’s perfect!
Our favourite part of the day was standing at the alter and just taking in the sheer beauty of what was happening, it was a moment we will never forget. We felt so relaxed and serene at this point with an indescribable peace upon the both of us, so beautiful and our most treasured part of the day.
We went on our honeymoon on the Monday after the wedding to Vienna! I’m a complete Christmas lover and Vienna was so magical at that time of year! It was so romantic. We wrapped up in our warmest clothing and visited the amazing Christmas markets, sipping on sweet ameretto liquor punch, took a horse drawn carriage ride around the beautiful city, visited the glamorous hotel coffee houses and soaked up the festive atmosphere! We stayed in a suite at the famous Hotel Sacher and sampled the famous Sacher torte!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be marry as early in the day as you can! People always say the day goes by too fast and so I decided I wanted to get married as early as I could to ensure I actually had a wedding day rather than a wedding ‘late afternoon’.
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