December 14th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we escape to Cheshire, to the captivating 17th century Hyde Bank Farm for Ali and Dave’s glorious summer wedding.
We’ve seen all kinds of unique and curious wedding themes on Brides Up North, but this is the first time we’ve encountered Lego – and we love it!
From cute Lego-inspired cake toppers and snazzy cufflinks and socks to Christmas baubles (yes, you read that one right!) – this is a wedding brimming with originality.
With images by Steven Rooney.
ali says: We got engaged in Mykonos in Greece. Dave had secretly purchased the ring and asked my dad beforehand. He was almost caught out by airport security staff who decided to go through his bag twice! Unable to wait any longer, he proposed on the first night, at the hotel, under the air conditioning, boiling hot as we had got lost on the way back from dinner!
Our wedding took place on 25th June 2016. We chose this date as there were only three dates left for 2016 at our reception venue, Hyde Bank Farm, and as I am a massive Christmas lover, it was fairly significant being six months to/from Christmas.
We got married at Norbury Church in Hazel Grove. I have connections with Norbury having grown up going there, and my dad is a clergyman there too (although he didn’t do the service!). We both wanted a church wedding so it fitted the bill perfectly.
We had a Lego theme. Our cake toppers were Lego figures and the groom, best man, groomsmen and father of the bride/groom all had different coloured Lego cufflinks with matching socks. We chose this theme as we’re both big kids at heart.
As for the colour scheme, we picked mint with a hint of blush. We thought this combination was quite summery and mint is one of those colours that suits everyone. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their mint dresses.
I eventually went with an Enzoani strapless mermaid wedding dress after trying on quite a number of different dresses. I saw the dress online, spent a while tracking it down, tried it on – and that was it – job done! It was very flattering and easy to get around in. The dress ticked all the boxes and also gave me the option of wearing a lace topper so I had two looks on the day. It was from the Wedding Boutique in Knutsford, which has since rebranded to Felicity Cooper bridal. Shoes wise, I got a pair of Rachel Simpson Matilda shoes online – only two inches high, and so lovely and comfortable.
My grandma kindly offered me her veil to wear for the ceremony which was a really special touch. She and my grandad got married in 1948 so it was very old! Unfortunately though it didn’t match my dress, so instead of wearing it, we draped it over the table that we signed the register on at the wedding to have it on show. I’m not sure how many people were aware of it but it was very special to us that it was there.
For hair and makeup, I booked Rebecca Anderton for my four bridesmaids and myself. She was so lovely and everything turned out great.
Dave wore a navy suit from Moss Bros with a mint coloured cravat, and paired the outfit with a pair of brown shoes from Next. The groomsmen also wore the same navy suit and mint coloured cravat from Moss Bros. They wore navy waistcoats whereas Dave donned an ivory waistcoat.
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May 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime
There’s nothing that makes our day more than hearing how newlyweds used Brides Up North to help shape and style their wedding day.
As such, to celebrate Bank Holiday Monday (hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!) we’re sharing the big day of loyal reader Kate and her beau Chris, who tied the knot in a pretty and personal ceremony before partying hard with their 150 guests!
Along Kate’s planning journey we were thrilled to find out that Brides Up North had helped her to find local suppliers whilst also providing décor inspiration for her special day. Because ladies, that’s exactly what we are here for!
With images by our lovely Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve. I’m an only child but Chris is from a fairly big family and so for Christmas 2014 he suggested that our families spend it together.
Christmas Eve came around and we were preparing food and waiting for my family to arrive. Chris and I had to go out and collect the turkey and on the way back he suggested we go for a drink before everyone descended. We headed off for a drink and I had a sense that Chris was acting a little strangely. After a quick detour to de-turkey we went to the Queen and Castle in Kenilworth, a lovely pub overlooking Kenilworth Castle. Getting out of the car I checked his pockets for a ring box but there was none to be seen. He went to the bar to order, quickly ran to the car and then came back with my ‘Christmas Eve present’ in a big box. When I opened it, a ring was inside and he asked me to marry him, then the whole family was waiting back at his parents to celebrate!
We decided to get married on 19th December. We didn’t want to worry about rain in the summer and that time of year when the air is crisp is my favourite; plus everyone would be high on Christmas cheer and finishing work for the year. It also happened to be Chris’ grandparent’s anniversary, so that made it all the more special.
We got married at my parent’s village church, All Saints Daresbury or the Lewis Carroll church as it’s known (where he was born and his father was pastor). Though we live in London now, I’ll always be a northerner and Cheshire holds many special memories so it was important that we get married there. David Felix, the vicar there was brilliant and really made the ceremony, he put everyone at ease.
We personalised our order of service with a little story about each of the wedding party so that everyone knew who was who. We also had our family friend organise a string quartet for us of him and his university friends; I walked down the aisle to Hoppipolla and then they learnt some others songs like Jesse Glynn, Rather Be for while we were signing the register. We had three of our friends read; one religious reading and the Edward Monkton’s ‘The Lovely Love Story’ as it is a little silly (like Chris!) and we wanted it to be light-hearted.
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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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September 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
For this afternoon’s real wedding we are crossing the north/south border in order to share with you original Sheffield girl Laura’s big day.
She and beau Andy met in the capital and so for them it seemed only right to invite their guests from both the north & south to join them in the place they call home.
After saying their ‘I dos’ in the beautiful Islington Town Hall, the happy couple and their guests travelled on board a red double decker to a modern restaurant for the party to continue.
Highlights include Laura’s stunning Pronovias gown, pretty blush pink touches and a very cute ring bearer!
With images by Georgina Martin.
laura says: We got engaged the Christmas after our son Reuben had been born. It was on Boxing Day morning at my parents’ house, Reuben was just two-months-old. Andy asked me to marry him and it made everything perfect!
We had quite a long engagement as weren’t really financially in a position to get married when Andy asked so we waited until we were, and Reuben was a little older to be part of the experience – then we got planning. We decided on May 2nd for our wedding date, the start of spring/summer time so hoping for some sunshine and it was a bank holiday weekend.
Although I am from Sheffield I have lived in London 13 years, it’s where Andy and I met and where we dated. We had always said we wanted to get married at Islington Town Hall one day, I used to live in the area and we’d often walk past and say how lovely it was and that one day that would be us!
We had originally wanted to have the reception in a pub in East London where we had our second date but for various reasons this didn’t work out. Chiswell Street Dining Rooms was the only other place we looked at and instantly thought it fitted in perfectly with what we wanted, a relaxed day with our closest friends and family with good food, drink and a great party!
We didn’t really have a theme as such, Chiswell Street had a really lovely elegant feel to it that didn’t need a lot of dressing so I stuck to white flowers in simple pots from Ikea and lots of chalkboards for the seating plan, and signs around the venue that I bought as prints on eBay and mounted myself. I also bought chalkboards and easels for the table numbers and mini chalk heart pegs that went on everyone’s wine glass as their seating position.
I kept the colour scheme simple, opting for white flowers and blush pink for the bridesmaids so I added a few blush peonies to my bouquet too.
I had always said I wanted a silk/chiffon wedding dress, something floaty and maybe a little boho but my actual dress was much more fitted than I thought – a beautiful Pronovias dress, chiffon with lace and a low v front and back. I put it on and zipped it straight up, the perfect fit and so comfy! It was the first one I tried on. Though I tried lots, something kept taking me back to that one, everyone loved it and the shop were selling their sample so it was even under budget, it seemed like a sign. I bought it there and then.
As it had come in under budget I splashed out on a beautiful pearl and diamante head piece from Gillian Million who had been highly recommended to me, she made it to order and it went perfectly with my dress, she even custom made me a matching cuff. The only other jewellery I wore on the day was my mum’s silver and emerald ring, as my something old.
Andy wore a blue three piece suit from SuitSupply in London, with brown brogues from Ben Sherman and a Zara tie, which matched the best man and ushers. I bought him a Lanvin silver tie pin as his wedding present too which finished his look off perfectly!
The bridesmaids wore gorgeous Ted Baker blush pink maxi dresses, which had lace that complemented my dress perfectly. I managed to find flower girl dresses in almost the identical shade from Autograph at M&S, they also wore M&S cardigans and shoes and tights from Debenhams.
The best man and users all wore blue suits from Moss Bros, their own white shirts and the same blue Zara tie as Andy. Our son Reuben, wore a navy waistcoat and trouser set from Next with a white shirt, bow tie from Ted Baker and his favourite Converse!
As a special touch to the wedding day, Reuben carried the rings on a beautiful personalised ring cushion that I bought from MissSDesigns on Etsy. We really wanted him to feel part of the day and he even brought them up to the registrar, we were so proud of him and all walked down the aisle together at the end of the ceremony.
My wedding car was a black London cab, our friend Gary was a cab driver and kindly offered to be our chauffer for the day. The boys also borrowed a friend’s Bentley to arrive in London in style and we hired a Routemaster bus from London Retro Bus Hire to take the guests from the town hall to the reception.
Our photographer was Georgina Martin. She is Sheffield based and I came across her through my sister during her wedding planning, we instantly loved her work and booked her for our day. As she was in Sheffield and we were in Essex we didn’t meet that much before the day but she fitted in perfectly and made us all feel relaxed. Andy wanted someone to be around while the boys were preparing in the morning too so Georgina brought an assistant Charlie and both girls were great, they captured our day perfectly.
The wedding bouquets were gypsophila and my bouquet also had some pink peonies in to tie in the girls’ dresses. They were from a local florist in Hornchurch called Emma’s Ivy.
Pinterest was my best friend in wedding planning, I created a board of all my ideas and went about sourcing them! To decorate we used gypsophila again at the venue in simple Ikea pots tied with a Mr & Mrs ribbon. We also hired some amazing light up letters in our initials from Vowed and Amazed, which everyone loved!
Other details included white bunting bought from eBay, along with the chalkboard signs and I sourced some lovely banners for the sweet and cake table and a personalised one for the fireplace in the reception from Celebrating Together on Etsy. I also bought some giant balloons in our colours with beautiful tassel tails from Bubblegum Balloons, these were a last minute purchase that I’d been holding out to see if we could afford at the end but I’m so glad we did as they make amazing photo opportunities.
We didn’t have favours as such but the chalkboard heart pegs on everyone’s glasses were theirs to take away and quite a few guests took to wearing them as name badges throughout the day!
We wanted to keep the cake simple along with the rest of the theme. I came across an image on Pinterest and then went about finding someone who could make it for us. I found Millie-Ann at Ever After Wedding Cakes on a wedding blog, she’d done a beautiful modern cake for another London wedding so I got in touch. We met in a shopping centre and she brought me some delicious cupcakes to sample and I was sold! We went with three tiers, the top two lemon with lemon curd and the bottom chocolate, I also added in some red velvet cupcakes, which were amazing!
We had prosecco and summer berry cocktails as arrival drinks on the day. For the food we went for a pear and stilton salad and a choice of Chiswell Streets’ signature fish pie or an Irish stew and dumpling for the main and miniature Amalfi lemon tarts and vanilla cheesecake with cherry jam for those that had room for dessert. The food really was amazing. In the evening the waiters brought round bacon sandwiches and fish and chip cones, and cut up the cake to soak up the alcohol!
In terms of entertainment, we wanted to create a party to resemble your best night out with your friends with all the songs we knew would keep the dancefloor going all night so we were recommended Love 2 Groove DJ’s by a friend and we cannot fault them. They started with some Motown classics, we had Al Green Lets Stay Together as our first dance, which was a very special moment, and everyone was singing the words and joined us on the dancefloor halfway through. By the end of the night the dancefloor was packed with guests dancing to old school house music until midnight. We had lots of compliments on what a great party it was.
For our guest book I bought a Fuji Film Instax Mini Polaroid camera and made a frame to hang the photos in with pegs and twine, I bought a few props by Ginger Ray and everyone had fun taking silly pictures and leaving us notes. The pictures are a great memory of the day, especially the ones as the night went on!
We would definitely recommend Chiswell Street Dining Rooms to other wedding couples. Nicole our event planner was amazing and couldn’t do enough for us, she made the whole day come together exactly as we had planned. It was everything we’d wished for.
We’d also recommend Feel Good Invites who supplied our invitations. This was actually the same company my sister used and she recommended him to us. The quality was very good as was the service, we were really pleased with the finished product.
My favourite part of the day was the actual ceremony, you put so much time into planning the reception it sometimes slips your mind about the actual ‘getting married’ part. The whole thing was so special, walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing my husband-to-be waiting for me and our amazing son being such a big boy and handing over the rings. I felt so happy and proud at the end of it when we all walked down the aisle together, a truly unforgettable moment!
For our honeymoon we went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy; four nights in a beautiful boutique hotel in Sorrento and three nights in a spa hotel on an idyllic island called Ischia. It was the perfect finish. We went without our son and it gave us time to relax as husband and wife and look back and reflect on what an amazing day we had. My parents and sister kindly took our son away too so he didn’t miss out!
It sounds like a complete cliché, but a wedding day really is the fastest day of your life so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take time to take it all in and enjoy every minute!
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August 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Wow – just wow! This wedding knocked my socks off the moment I received the images of Amy and Andy’s big day set in good old Yorkshire.
The beautiful colour palette of coral, yellow, creams and gold sets the prettiness level sky high and Amy makes one of the most stunning brides I’ve ever seen in her customised Maggie Sottero dress and ethereal twisted-twig flower crown.
There are lots of cute personal touches in this wedding that made for a memorable, stylish and super enjoyable day.
So let’s go back to the start – the proposal. Be warned ladies, it’s a tear jerker (excellent work Andy)!
With photography by Kate Cooper.
Amy says: Andy proposed on February 16th 2013. He had taken me out for an Italian and when we got home he asked me to stay in the car for a minute and, although confused, I did as I was told. After about five minutes, and almost freezing to death, he came out to get me. When I walked into the house he’d covered the living room in candles and our favourite song, A Real Human by College and Electric Youth, was playing. It was beautiful. As I walked further into the house he’d lit candles up the stairs and alongside the candles were little notes tied to a long ribbon. As I went up the stairs the notes went through all of the best moments we’d had so far including moving in together, our first holiday and bringing home our miniature schnauzer, Enzo.
The ribbon went up the stairs and into the bedroom where it stopped on the bed. The card on the bed told me to turn around and he was down on one knee behind me. We both cried, I said yes and then cried some more down the phone to anyone who’d answer my calls! I loved my proposal and he’d put so much thought into everything. It was such a perfect evening and it made it more special that it was just us two at home.
We set the date for Saturday May 31st 2014. Our plan was to get married later on in the year but my grandparents fell ill and so the most important thing was that they shared our day with us. Unfortunately, two of my grandparents passed away during our engagement but we know they were looking down on us and we tried to make them proud.
We chose the Whiston Manorial Barn in Rotherham as our wedding venue. We had always loved the idea of having a barn wedding but found it difficult to find exactly what we wanted. When we finally looked around the Manorial Barn we instantly knew it was where we’d marry. It is such a breath-taking place and it was exactly what we’d spent so long looking for. We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The women who co-ordinate the weddings at the barn, Claire and Karen, were so helpful and were always at the other end of an email or phone call whenever we needed advice or help.
We didn’t necessarily have a theme for our wedding, but just wanted it to be a fun atmosphere full of colour. We were very unsure about the colour scheme at first but as it was a summer wedding we decided to go for something bright. My favourite colours are coral and yellow and so we wanted to incorporate these and we tied them with creams and gold. We wanted the flowers to be the main focus of the decorations as they added so much colour so we kept everything else quite neutral and it seemed to work well.
We hired a cream Daimler V4 1/2 to transport the bridal party to the venue. As the company were based only 15 minutes away we decided to have just one car to do two trips so my bridesmaids and mum went first and then it came back to collect me and my dad. I remember the wait feeling like forever when really it was only half-an-hour. The service we used was called American Pie Limos, based in Wales, South Yorkshire. We would highly recommend them as they were perfectly on time and free Champagne is always a winner!
I’m quite into textiles and sewing and so my initial plan was to make my own wedding dress. I had help from my grandma as she used to be a seamstress and we bought a few Vogue patterns to use and modify. Unfortunately around August last year my granddad was diagnosed with cancer and so everything was put on hold. As it was such a stressful time for the family, I decided to visit a bridal shop called Blushes in Sheffield. The shop assistant Zoe, took down my details and potential styles I liked. After describing my ideal dress she pulled one out and it was perfect – well almost. The dress was Dalton by Maggie Sottero but I had it altered quite a lot to fit the design that me and my grandma were initially going to make ourselves. It was supposed to have a zip right up the back which was made into a ‘V’ back and we shortened the sleeves. We also added netting underneath to make it kick out more.
Andy wore a three-piece Hugo Boss suit in steel grey which fitted him perfectly! He had a white shirt with ivory wool tie. He’d also bought a pair of dark brown brogues. He looked so dapper!
We didn’t really have set rules on what our bridesmaids/groomsmen would wear. This was mainly because we wanted them to be able to wear their outfits again and so it was important that they really liked them. The adult bridesmaids, Katherine, Laura and Beth, wore art-deco style taupe gowns embellished with steel beads by Adrianna Papell from House of Fraser. The dresses were gorgeous and the girls looked absolutely stunning! Our nieces and flower girls, Lily and Josie, wore dresses from Monsoon and looked so adorable.
The groomsmen all wore different suits and whatever they felt comfortable in. We just wanted everyone to feel relaxed – and they really brushed up well!
When it came to our wedding flowers, I carried a bouquet made up of Garden Roses, Peonies, Scabia seed heads, Eucalyptus, Freesia, Craspedia, Panicum Fountain Grasses, Larkspur and Nigella. As mentioned, we wanted the flowers to be the focus of our wedding and they were the main decoration for the barn. The coral, orange and yellow colours tied together beautifully and the florist did such a great job at putting them all together. I also wore a flower crown with just a few flowers on one front side of the band. This was made from twisted stems/twigs and I loved it!
My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet but the colours were a bit more subtle. Lily had an even smaller bouquet and Josie had a single peony wrapped in ribbon. It was all put together by the very talented Kath who owns Of The Wild in Broomhill, Sheffield. She got everything absolutely spot-on and I actually cried when I saw our flowers because they were so stunning and were exactly what we had asked for. Kath is very highly recommended if you’re after something a little different and more detailed than your average bouquet.
Our photographer on the day was the amazing Kate Cooper. We arranged an engagement shoot with her beforehand just because Andy and I aren’t the most graceful people in front of a camera. She made us feel so comfortable and laughed along with us when it was a little awkward – it was fun overall and we soon loosened up. We did get some lovely photos and it definitely set us up for the main event.
We had always liked the idea of our photos being natural and we wanted someone to capture people in naturally happy settings and record the general mood of the day. We did have a few staged photos of family but the rest we left completely to Kate. We put a great amount of trust in her (sorry Kate) but we knew she’d do an amazing job. We are going to recommend her to anyone in need of a photographer because she is honestly one of the nicest people we have ever met and worked with. We are so thankful that she was there, not only to capture our day, but to help us celebrate. Knowing that Kate was around meant that we could enjoy our day so much more without the worry that the atmosphere wouldn’t be captured and that things would get missed. Kate covered absolutely everything from table settings, venue details, to our terrible first dance and we were speechless when we received our photos. They were simply incredible.
Our floral decorations added an amazing boost of colour to our tables and brought a summery feel to the venue. To add to the decor, I made a trip to Ikea where I bought polka dot lace fabric and made table runners. We had yellow and orange candles scattered around and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made some lovely bunting for us to tie from the beams. Andy is very artistic and he did a great job of designing all of our table names, seating plan and stationery himself. We had our chair covers done by a lady named Paula from Cover in Style and she also put up some fairy lights for us which looked gorgeous at night when the main lights were dimmed.
Andy’s mum, Margaret, is the best at baking so there was never any question about who would make our wedding cake. We had a few designs in mind but wanted to keep it quite simple. We finally decided on a deep two-tier cake with little icing beads at the bases and a large pink peony on top. One tier was Victoria sponge and the other chocolate and we decorated the cake board with gold glitter to tie it all together. It was so delicious! Margaret also made us our wedding favours which were little heart shaped shortbread biscuits topped with white icing and gold glitter sprinkles – yum!
Our wedding menu consisted of pate for starters, ‘Chicken Manorial Barn’ for main, which was chicken in puff pastry served with vegetables, and then Andy’s favourite for dessert – treacle sponge. The food was provided by the staff at the Manorial Barn and it was well presented and gorgeous! For the reception we also hired Emily’s Ice Cream Bike who provided our guests with yummy ice cream in all sorts of flavours. If anyone hires them they’d be a fool not to choose Jaffa Cake ice cream, it was so good!
We wanted to keep things simple at the reception and just enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment so we simply had a DJ provided by the barn as our entertainment. He was great and we were able to put together our own playlist before the night. We incorporated this into our wedding invites and asked guests to suggest a song to dance to. The responses were somewhat interesting but it just made it that bit more personal for the guests and everyone really enjoyed it. We had dance-offs, dirty dancing lifts (ending with collapsed tables and red wine on white shirts) and general sassiness, especially from the boys!
There were several special touches on the day which helped to make it all the more personal and memorable. We both wrote our own vows for the ceremony as we found the standard vows very basic and not very personal. We decided not to show each other until we read them in front of each other on the day which made it that much more exciting! They were both very different but it is something we will both remember and we kept the books we wrote them in so we can look back at them from time to time.
My nan also lent me her wedding pearls for the ceremony which I thought was very touching. The pearls had been worn by my nan, my mum and my auntie on their wedding days so it was an honour to be able to wear them. I had decided to put the necklace on just before leaving my parents house but as I put it on one of the strings snapped and it was then a mad rush to fix it. Luckily my matron of honour, Katherine, whipped out a sewing kit and gave it to me all brand new when I arrived at the barn. My other nan had always kept a bottle cork with a penny stuck through the middle of it. I was told this was supposed to be good luck but with my bouquet I was unable to carry it, so it got stuck in my bra – classy!
Andy’s dancing also added a certain special touch to the day. It’s not possible to describe this – it has to be seen to be believed, trust me!
I have so many favourite moments but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the ceremony. I loved that we were able to say our own vows and that it was so personal to us. It was made more perfect that all of our family and friends were together in one space and the moment we became husband and wife was the happiest I’ve ever felt in my whole life. Secondary to that would have to be the moment Andy threw himself at his best man, James, when Time of Our Lives (Dirty Dancing) came on. They both flew backwards, into a table and ended up covered in red wine. Andy got up the next morning and said “where did all of this wine come from?” He was mortified when I told him!
Andy surprised me with a trip to America for our honeymoon. We flew to Washington and once on the plane Andy told me what we would be doing. I cried when he started telling me that we would be transferring from Washington to San Francisco then renting an RV to drive around California and back up the coast. Andy arranged everything perfectly and I’m so grateful to him!
Our advice to other couples would be don’t dwell too much on the materialistic things. Sometimes things don’t work out how you imagine them to and it’s not the end of the world. Of course there are bound to be problems along the way, but for us it all came down to family. All we wanted was to be surrounded by the ones we love the most and to make sure that everyone had as much of a good time as we did. Planning our wedding has taught us to think about the bigger picture and to try not to get carried away with things that really don’t matter that much in hindsight. Our parents and families helped us every step of the way during our wedding planning and we are still completely overwhelmed with how amazing these people are. We will never forget their generosity and kindness.
May 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Friday morning bacon sarnie and brew at the ready? Good. Then we’ll begin.
Franki and Anthony’s Real Wedding – high on the beautiful Otley Chevin – packs a proper Yorkshire punch. With flippy skirts, powerful polka dots and super hero details, this celebration is cute and quirky, but also seriously authentic. And very cool.
They had me at those heels.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Sarah Mason Photography.
Franki says: We got engaged in April 2010. Anthony had booked us a short break in Skipton for my birthday. He proposed to me as we were walking around the moat at Skipton Castle.
We tied the knot on 17th August 2013, we had originally set the date for the 18th August 2012 but decided to push it back a year to give us more time. It turned out to be a very wise decision as later that year I found out I was pregnant and my due date would only have been a few weeks before the wedding!
We got married at Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa in Otley.
We had been to many venues on our hunt for the perfect place and although some of them ticked all the right boxes they just didn’t feel right. We visited the Chevin on a whim one day and loved it even though it didn’t tick as many boxes as the others. The wedding coordinator told us we could basically do what we wanted on the day bar letting off sky lanterns. It just felt right and every time I thought about getting married after that first visit I always pictured us there.
We had a slight 1950’s theme, but it was a mix of a few things. It was a bit rockabilly, a bit vintage, a bit geeky, a bit buttony and a whole lot of us! Our wedding colour scheme was navy blue, white and pink.
I always knew the style of dress I would wear, a short, 1950’s style, halter neck circle dress with petticoat. I bought mine from Vivien of Holloway and my petticoat was custom made by Honeypie Boutique. I wore a custom made birdcage veil from What Katy Did Next which had a big white button covered heart to tie in with all the other buttons throughout the wedding. My shoes were a bargain as they were massively reduced when I bought them, from an online store called Nelly. They were pale pink suede with spikes running all the way down the inside of the heel. The finishing touches were my pearl necklace like the one stolen by Cat Woman in the Dark Knight Rises from a seller on Etsy and my navy belt also from Vivien of Holloway.
My five bridesmaids wore the exact same dress as me, just in a navy polka dot pattern with pink petticoats all from Vivien of Holloway. My niece was a little bridesmaid too, she wore a pink polka dot dress similar to the bridesmaids which a very talented family friend made for her.
We had five groomsmen who all wore the same suit as the groom but with just the navy polka dot pocket square.
We had three little ushers, our son Luca and my oldest friend’s two little boys. They wore grey chinos from Next with a white linen shirt from Gap. The had navy blue Converse, navy blue braces and navy bow ties both from eBay.
Between family, bridesmaids and myself we made six button bouquets and a mini button bouquet wand. It was time consuming but definitely worth it and my bouquet has pride of place in my kitchen now.
As I chose not to carry flowers we needed an alternative for the buttonholes as well. We decided on Lego superhero buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen and some button button holes for the wedding party. We DIY’ed them all.
Buttons played quite a large part in our day from being flower replacements to decorating our card box and being part of our centrepieces. They were everywhere.
The best money we spent was definitely on our photographer Sarah Mason. She captured our day absolutely perfectly and is a lovely, lovely lady who I cannot praise enough, we think she is a little bit fabulous!
A family friend played acoustic guitar as our ceremony music before singing with his partner during the reception drinks.
Our centrepieces were milk churn glass vases from Ikea. We tied ribbon that matched our wedding invitations around them and glued some buttons around the top. They were filled with some play sand and a white candle in which Anthony had carved numbers out of and filled with navy wax to make table numbers.
Our wedding favours were wine glasses dipped in chalkboard paint with a ribbon tied in a bow around the stem. We then chalked names onto them to double up as place settings.
Our chair covers were provided by Lindsey from Ambience Venue Styling, who I would highly recommend. Everything else was made by ourselves, family or friends. We made over 40 metres of bunting to decorate the balcony around the lake at our venue from blue, pink and white polka dot fabric.
We set up our own sweet stall for the evening reception for people to help themselves and instead of a guest book, Anthony’s dad made us some speech bubble chalkboards and another friend took pictures of people with messages they had written for us which we have in an album.
My friend made us a lovely three tiered chocolate and sponge cake that she covered in icing buttons. We had a Lego bride and groom as our cake topper.
We then had an absolutely amazing band for the evening reception called The Jukebox Jets. They are a rock n roll band and were absolutely fabulous as well as being super lovely. We literally danced all night, I have no idea who was at my evening reception as if they weren’t up dancing with me then I didn’t see them. They held a little dance competition too. Anthony and myself had to eliminate a couple after each song until we crowned a winning couple. They wore their crowns the whole night.
Obviously getting married and becoming a real family was the best part and the speeches were really good, the boys did themselves proud. Truthfully though, my favourite part was our first dance, we danced to Hallelujah I Love Her So, played by the band, our first dance as husband and wife, it was so much fun!
We went on a mini-moon after our wedding to a beautiful little cottage in Staffordshire. It was lovely as it was our first break as a family.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff. Things more than likely will go a little bit wrong on your big day. Our guitarist broke his guitar five minutes before I made my way up the aisle (he still managed to play), we lost the buttonholes for the grandparents, a pair of shoes turned up for Anthony’s dad in odd sizes plus a few other small things. Apart from us, nobody else knew and it made no difference to the day whatsoever. Designate two people you trust as problem solvers, make sure suppliers and other people know they are the people to contact if needed on the day and let them deal with any issues that do arise, leaving you to enjoy yourselves and relax.
Congratulations Franki & Anthony!
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