Charlotte Balbier

blooms & bunting. enzoani for a rustic wedding at tanfield house – donna & darren

July 11th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Riverside Wedding (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (41)

Imagine being the very first couple to tie the knot in a stunning new venue. That’s something today’s couple, Donna and Darren, can lay claim to – and we might just be a little bit jealous!

Marrying last summer at the spectacular Tanfield House on the banks of the River Ure in Ripon – the newlyweds created a rustic, laid-back garden party for their guests, complete with bunting, pom poms, chalkboards and origami heart place names. They quite literally put their heart and soul into their big day and this can be seen in every minute detail.

Asking their guests to bring along baked goodies as part of their bake-off competition, Donna and Darren also served up a Spanish feast and a dreamy four-tiered wedding cake. The epitome of vintage chic, this is the picture-perfect summer wedding we all secretly wish for…

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

A Pretty Riverside Wedding (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (14)

donna says: We got engaged in July 2015, while on a weekend away in Barcelona. We had a ridiculously action-packed day which Darren had planned, including a Segway tour of Barcelona in the morning, a lovely tapas lunch followed by a visit to the Gaudi fountains in the park and then hiring a rowing boat on the lake.

After returning to the hotel room we quickly got ready and dashed out for a lovely meal and enjoyed a late-night walk along the beach. We stopped for cocktails before finally heading back to the hotel where he then wanted to go up to the rooftop bar, which was unfortunately closed. As I had pretty much been dragged around non-stop all day, I was absolutely shattered and just requested that we go to our room and go to bed. I pretty much passed out in bed, but Darren asked me to open my eyes and when I did, he had the open ring box in his hand and proposed. I was completely overwhelmed (mainly from exhaustion) but absolutely ecstatic. The ring was a beautiful vintage style diamond surrounded by cluster diamonds.

It turned out that the reason for the action-packed day was because he had been trying to find the right spot/moment to propose which never appeared. There had been a couple of occasions where he had pulled the ring out and then put it back in his pocket because I’d made some stupid joke or wandered off distracted. Even earlier in the evening when we were getting ready there had been a failed proposal attempt where he had written the proposal in steam on the shower wall whilst I was showering but I had been so intent on getting out for food I hadn’t even seen it! So it was quite funny and really lovely.

A Pretty Riverside Wedding (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (21)

We got married on Friday 1st July 2016. We were really keen to get married the following year as I didn’t want to have a long drawn out engagement consumed with wedding planning. We were very limited with registrar slots and I had already decided on my photographer who had limited availability too. I liked the 1st July too as it was a nice easy date to remember!

We married at a new venue – Tanfield House in a village called West Tanfield near Ripon. I had my heart set on an outdoor rustic wedding in an intimate setting. I wanted the wedding to be very relaxed – like a chilled garden party – and having searched everywhere within a one hour radius, could not find anything which was suitable or was not already completely booked up. I had pretty much given up when luckily my search threw up Tanfield House, which was a brand-new venue. As soon as we looked around it and saw its stunning setting, and met Allanah the owner and wedding planner – we knew that it was absolutely perfect for us.

The venue sells itself on being a home-from-home where you dress the venue to your specifications and have the wedding exactly as you would like it, including having your own caterers, etc. Being their first booking and first large wedding in the diary, I knew that we would get a very personal service and it was exciting to be part of a new business venture and have a wedding that was completely original.

A Pretty Riverside Wedding (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (58)

We chose a rustic relaxed theme. We both envisaged a really relaxed fun day celebrating with our closest friends and family. We are not religious, both very chilled and quite creative and good at crafting and wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities.

The rustic garden party wedding was ideal for us as it is exactly how I envisage a romantic summer wedding to be – full of garden blooms, chalkboards and vintage details. It enabled us to really personalise our wedding with decorating jars, homemade invites, flowers arranged by my friends and family from the local flower market, Darren’s self-crafted bar, cake table and light-up marquee letter initials from old wooden pallets, homemade chalkboards, a bake-off, origami heart place names, the list goes on…

We didn’t have a set wedding colour scheme. Given the theme, colours were just in keeping with summer blooms. Accessories were mainly cream, hessian and twine, and the flowers were just beautiful summer flowers from the markets in array of pinks, purples, creams and corals with lots of beautiful foliage.

A Pretty Riverside Wedding (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (47)

I wore a vintage style lace mermaid Enzoani gown from The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in Pickering. I had my heart set on a form fitting lace gown but had initially wanted one with a detailed back – however when trying them on, detailed backs came with high necks which just didn’t suit my petite frame. My dress shopping was actually done in quite a panic with appointments booked during my lunch hour as I started shopping after New Year so had left myself less than six months. On one of these lunch time appointments my good friend and photographer Hayley came with me and encouraged me to try the dress on which I initially did not like, as I thought the mermaid flare would be over the top – however upon trying it on the flare made my figure look amazing and the lace eyelash detail on the bodice and the scallop lace bottom was so romantic and beautiful – I knew it was the one!

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all i want is you. maggie sottero for a small and intimate wedding at hipping hall – laura & peter

November 16th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Laura and Peter’s intimate wedding at Hipping Hall was full of luxurious details: a Maggie Sottero Ettia gown, Jimmy Choo heels and home-grown seasonal blooms that packed a real punch – just take a look at those peonies!

This pair of foodies also created a menu to die for, agonising over canape and course choices until they were sure their perfect day could boast the perfect wedding breakfast.

Laura is full of praise for photographer Rachel Joyce and it’s easy to see why: these photographs sparkle with joy, love and summer sun.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

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laura says: Peter proposed on Boxing Day 2013, when we were in Australia visiting Peter’s brother, his wife and children. Peter was insistent that just the two of us head out on Boxing Day. However, Peter’s plan of proposing to me amongst the vineyards at Moet & Chandon didn’t work out so all day he was on edge and wanting to stop at every lookout or place of interest on our trip. Finally, after driving up mountains and through forests, he found a perfect spot at Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, Victoria. I wasn’t expecting it and we both cried!

We arranged our wedding for Saturday 30th July 2016.  We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and for Peter’s family from Australia to be there.

We decided on Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale for our venue. We visited the hall in 2015 and loved that it was so small and intimate. Plus, there was snow and it looked so pretty. We couldn’t wait to see it in summer. Being foodies, we also loved that our guests would be well looked after and enjoy amazing food and wine.

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There was no particular colour scheme to the wedding; we just wanted bright and fun colours. The venue was impressive enough without having to dress it too much. We did however, theme a lot of the wedding around the lyrics to our first dance song, All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar, as they’re so lovely.

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Ettia. I adored it from the first time I tried it on. I’d always wanted quite a straight dress and thought that the vintage style of this particular gown was just stunning, especially the pearl and crystal embellishment. I bought it from Aristocrats in Chester, who were fabulous. Dress shopping was unexpectedly easy. Aristocrats was the first shop I visited. I tried about ten dresses on and they were all lace apart from the Ettia, which I eventually went for. To this day I’ve no idea how I even ended up trying it on – it was nothing like the others I was trying. My mum and two friends all cried (so did I!) so I knew it was ‘the one’.  I bought Jimmy Choo shoes as a treat and on the wedding day Peter left a matching Jimmy Choo clutch bag in my room.

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Peter wanted a less formal feel for his outfit and I’ve always known he doesn’t enjoy wearing a tie for work. So we asked ourselves why would he wear one for the wedding? He looked so handsome and smart in his Hugo Boss suit with crisp white shirt and no tie. His accessories also added a touch of style with his Oliver Sweeney shoes and handmade pocket square from Ylleanna, Biella in Italy, matching lapel pin and socks.

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As we had such a small wedding (only 41 people), we decided that we didn’t want formal bridesmaids and groomsmen and wanted to make it a family day instead. I therefore had Peter’s three nieces as my bridesmaids. They looked stunning in pink floral dresses. Pete’s nephew kept the rings safe and presented them to us in the ceremony.

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keeping things cosy. a coast gown for a relaxed & intimate wedding in harome – sarah & andy

March 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

A big  wedding just isn’t for everyone and so it’s lovely to see couples organising small, intimate celebrations with just their very nearest and dearest as an alternative. Andy and Sarah had just 30 guests at their wedding and though small, it was perfectly formed.

The setting was a cosy hotel in the lovely village of Harome (one of my very favourite places) which provided a warm and homely environment for them to tie the knot.

With images by James Tracey Photography.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (4)

sarah says: We got engaged in summer 2011. Andy had surprised me and bought me a new watch. We had plans to go out for a meal that evening and when I’d finished getting ready Andy handed me the box which had my watch in it but he had replaced the watch with my engagement ring. Total surprise, never expected it.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (11)

We decided to set the date for 25th October 2014 as it’s a nice time of the year. Sort of the end of autumn, beginning of winter and still chance of a nice sunny day (which we had) but dusk early evening.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (9)

Our chosen venue was The Pheasant Hotel in Harome, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire. We hadn’t decided on anywhere but had been to Malton for the day. I had Googled venues in the area and The Pheasant caught my eye. The moment we walked in we knew this was the venue. It was Christmas at the time too so it was very festive and cosy with all the Christmas decorations.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

We didn’t have a special theme as it was only a very small wedding with a total of 30 guests so just a very intimate celebration with a small group of very close friends and family. There wasn’t a colour theme as such either. I had my sister as maid of honour and my two-year-old daughter as my flower girl. I kept Tilly natural in an ivory dress and my sister wore a black evening gown. My husband wore a dark grey suit from Next and his best man wore a navy suit.

I didn’t want a big dress as the wedding and venue were only small. What I picked was plain but classic – a cream strapless dress from Coast with a lace, off the shoulder bolero which buttoned up the back from a local bridal shop.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (13)

James Tracey was our photographer. He was recommend by a couple of old work colleagues who both spoke very highly of him. I spoke to James several times before the wedding and instantly felt at ease and had every confidence in him. James made me feel very comfortable on my wedding day and it was a pleasure to have him be a part of my special day. I would highly recommend him to friends and family.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

I carried a bouquet of blue and white thistle, agapanthus, white avalanche roses, blue veronica, white bouvardia, eucalyptus. My bridesmaids carried the same but a smaller version. They were put together by Busy Liz’s Floral Design in Kirbymoorside. The same flowers were used for the décor and the room where we got married was candlelit.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

As favours we had pink chocolate lips lollipops for the ladies and milk chocolate moustaches for the men from a company called Cocoa Loco. Our cake was made by a family friend at Cakehouse on the Lane. We had a cream coloured cutting cake with a diamante ‘Mr & Mrs’ topper and cream cupcakes.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

I would absolutely recommend The Pheasant Hotel to others. This venue is just perfect for a wedding, so romantic. We’ll definitely be returning for our anniversary. It is perfect for small weddings like ours or for larger weddings you can have exclusivity of the hotel.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

I couldn’t possibly pick out a favourite part of the day – it was all perfect.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

For our honeymoon we had a city break to Rome for four nights. Neither of us had ever visited Italy. What a way to end our wedding.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is relax and don’t stress. Whatever hasn’t been planned/booked doesn’t matter. No one else will know but you. Stand back and just take it all in.

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simple pleasures. a beautiful wedding at Blackfriars – kate & andrew

November 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (20)

We’re in the North East this afternoon as we join Kate and Andrew for their beautiful and intimate wedding at Blackfriars in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  Not the keenest couple ever to dash down the aisle, when they finally ‘got around to it’ they definitely did it in style.  Just look at the cut of that dress.  Audrey Hepburn, eat your heart out.

Images by Duncan McCall Photography.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (2)

kate says: Back in 2010, we had a short break away to Bath. On my birthday we took a trip to see Stonehenge. After a secret chat with one of the security staff, Andrew persuaded me to hop over the barriers where we dashed up to the monument and Andrew got down on one knee to propose!

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (7)

We got married on 21st June 2014. We had been engaged for a long time and had never made any serious wedding plans, knowing we would get around to it one day. Unintentionally we stumbled across the perfect wedding venue and spur of the moment booked it! We always knew we wanted a summer wedding so we thought the longest day of the year would be perfect.

We got married at Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle Upon Tyne. We loved it as soon as we saw it (we didn’t even look at any other venues!). It was local for all of our family and friends, and Andrew is very keen on history so it made sense to get married in a 13th century friary! We always wanted a small, laid-back wedding and what with their reputation for amazing food, we knew it was the venue for us.

We didn’t really choose a particular theme – as Blackfriars Restaurant was such a stunning setting, we tried to match everything to suit the venue. We went for a simple vintage look, with lots of lace, flowers and foliage and chose a nude/taupe colour scheme, with lots of ivory lace and hints of dusky pink.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (11)

I wore a full length ivory lace fish tail dress made by White Rose. It was bought from Truly Madly Deeply in Monkseaton. This was accompanied by a handmade Swarovski floral head piece, also purchased from Truly Madly Deeply.

My bridesmaid wore a full length nude/taupe coloured dress with a cinched in waist. This was made by my Auntie who is a seamstress.

Andrew wore a three piece grey morning suit, teamed with a wing collared shirt and nude coloured cravat. This was hired from Slaters Menswear in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (17)

As the ceremony and the reception were all based at the same venue, there was very little travelling for our guests. I arrived in an ivory and black vintage-style Regent Convertible, provided by AB Wedding Cars in Newburn.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (21)

All of the flowers were provided by Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle Upon Tyne. My bouquet was hand tied and very rustic, made up of mainly ivory and dusky pink roses with a lot of foliage. My bridesmaid carried a smaller version of the same bouquet.

To decorate the venue, we worked with a lovely lady called Dot from Katherine’s Florists, whose son had previously got married at Blackfriars Restaurant, so she knew the place like the back of her hand! We had three large floral arrangements and used rose petals and trails of ivy to decorate the room. For further decoration to the venue we used a huge amount of church candles and trimmed the chairs with ivory lace.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (23)

Our photographer for the day was Duncan McCall Photography. Duncan made us feel so relaxed and he captured every little memory from our big day. Amazing service and we were overwhelmed by the finished album. We have already been recommending Duncan to all of our family and friends.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (29)

We had a traditional three tiered fruit cake with ivory icing. It was decorated with ivory and dusky pink roses to match the flowers. This was made by the Andrew’s mum!

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (30)

Blackfriars Restaurant is known for its fantastic food, so together we created a three course menu for our wedding breakfast. This consisted of a North Sea Fishcake to start, Northumbrian Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and spring veg, and Sticky Toffee Pudding and ice cream for dessert! All of the ingredients were locally sourced. This was accompanied by a choice of wines we had selected, along with Prosecco for toasts.

As we wanted a laid-back reception we treated our guests to a bacon or sausage sandwich later in the evening (both the sausage and the rolls were handmade at Blackfriars Restaurant that day)!

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (31)

For the evening reception we created our own candy buffet, with all of our favourite sweets! Throughout the day we added lots of special touches to make the day as personal to us as we could – from asking our family and close friends to take part in readings during the ceremony, to providing guests with a small scratch-card quiz on love and marriage before the wedding breakfast (this was an after-thought and went down very well with our guests)!

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (35)

We provided the entertainment ourselves by creating our own music playlist for guests to join us on the dance floor at the evening reception.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (37)

We would like a special mention to Toni & Guy hair salon in Newcastle Upon Tyne, who styled both our hair for the big day. Their service was fantastic and we were both really pleased with the results.

We would also recommend Dressmaking by Kaylean in Newcastle Upon Tyne who provided the alterations for the my dress.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (43)

We would definitely recommend Blackfriars Restaurant to another couple. The service was outstanding and they made us feel so special all day. The wedding coordinator, Lee, never stopped all day and made sure every small detail was just perfect.

Our favourite part of the day was later in the evening when we were having our photographs taken up on the balcony at Blackfriars. It was our first proper chance to relax and chat to each other as husband and wife. The weather was perfect and we were looking down into the terrace garden watching all of our family and friends having a great time – it certainly made us smile for the photographs!

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (47)

We went to Rome for our honeymoon! Ever since we first met we always wanted to visit Rome to enjoy the amazing food, sunshine and soak up the history. It lived up to our expectations and more, and was the perfect romantic city to spend our honeymoon in.

an intimate wedding at Blackfriars (c) Duncan McCall Photography (48)

The top tip that Andrew received before the wedding was to just remember to not be nervous, as chances are he had already made a bigger fool of himself in the past in front of everybody who was present at the wedding! We would certainly recommend this to any future bride and groom!

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One Day Like This: A Real Wedding In North Yorkshire – Cat & Jonny

February 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Helmsley Wedding by Carly Bevan

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Now, there was an article in yesterday’s Huffington Post that I really identified with.  In a nutshell, when submitting images to a magazine for print, wedding photographer Anne Almasy was dismayed to find that instead of people, they were only interested in pretty details.  The photographer didn’t make a fuss at the time, but later penned the piece calling for the industry to remember what weddings are really all about.

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On the one hand, as an editor, I get the magazine’s need for inspirational images of styled details and aspirational table settings – wedding magazines and blogs would be in trouble without them after all – but on the other hand, I totally understand the photographer’s disappointment that her carefully selected images of a newlywed couple in love were not deemed adequate. 

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There may or may not have been a misunderstanding and the article might just have been published to sensationalise.  Whatever the reason, I don’t think the industry really does need to take a long hard look at itself (most wedding industry professionals I know work long tireless hours over and above requirements to help to deliver a bride and groom’s dream day – they know that it’s all about the people, they can just help with the pretty bits), but I do think that it’s nice for planning brides to remember that it doesn’t matter if your chair covers match your bridesmaids’ knickers – it’s all about the love between the two of you.

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This isn’t an issue that we have a problem with here at Brides Up North, as we receive so many beautiful submissions of all different types of weddings that I find both the pretty and personal boxes are generally ticked without getting too worried about it.  However, I have said it before and I’ll say it again… my favourite Real Weddings are always the ones that are a little stripped back, and where the happiness is allowed to shine through…

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…exactly like today’s gorgeous and personal celebration in the lovely village of Helmsley, North Yorkshire, sent to me by photographer Carly Bevan and today’s happy couple Cat and Jonny.

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Enjoy!

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Cat says:  Jonny proposed somewhere over the Atlantic on 22/12/11. We were on our way to visit my brother for Christmas. Jonny had a temporary ring that was black and white as I support Newcastle Football Club. He had remembered me dropping a HUGE hint about a lovely shop that made/designed jewellery – Dot the Jewellers in Saltaire. We kept it quiet on the plane and celebrated with a glass of wine each.  I was speechless and kept asking if Jonny was serious!

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We got married at 3pm on 4th November 2012 at The Black Swan, Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

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We love cosy, country pubs and good food. It reminded us very much of one of our favourite local pubs and knowing we could get married there was a bonus! It was intimate and atmospheric – just what we wanted. 

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My dress was by Claire Pettibone and called Yolanda. I got it from The White Closet in Didsbury, Manchester. I loved its simplicity and felt wonderful in it. My shoes were by Rachel Simpson and called Olivia. I wore a Flo and Percy headband called Glastonbury – it was a sign as both Jonny and I love Glastonbury festival and have been many times.

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I didn’t have any bridesmaids; unfortunately my best friend lives in Australia and was unable to come over. The groomsmen wore navy suits and matching blue and white ties.

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I carried a small but beautiful posy of Amnesia roses. Jonny had a single Amnesia rose. The wedding party had cream roses and lilac fuchsias. My flowers came from Gemma Magson at The Topiary Tree in Helmsley.

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My parents rented a cottage five minute’s walk from The Black Swan which meant my Dad and I could walk. It was really lovely and meant we could also have some photos taken on the walk down.

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We had a guitarist called James Smith who played prior, during and after the ceremony. He was amazing and made the day for us as we are huge music fans. He even learnt The Stone Roses “Ten Storey Love Song” for me to walk down the aisle to.

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The special touches for us were the involvement of our friends. One of my best friends has a stationery design company, White Petal Design and she made our invites as well as doing a reading. The men’s favours were bottles of Build a Rocket Boys Beer by the band Elbow. They are one of our favourite bands and our first dance was to one of their songs too. The ladies’ favours were Happy Bags that supported a local children’s hospice.

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We had cupcakes made by my friend Kerry Bennett and they were delicious. We had two flavours- chocolate orange and white chocolate and champagne. We also had a small four tier cheese cake from Hunters of Helmsley that was fabulous and we continued to eat for a week!

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We didn’t have a theme as such but family, friendship, music and laughter was important. The tables were all named after Paul Weller albums as he is Jonny’s favourite musician.  We had silver candelabras on the table and silver bows for the back of the chairs. Due to the time of year we wanted lots of candles and the fires lit at the venue to give a cosy feel.

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We’re sure everyone says this but our favourite part was having our friends and family with us to celebrate our special day. We sat in the middle of the room on a circular table which meant we could look around at everyone enjoying themselves.

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After the wedding, we went to a beautiful cottage in Scotland. It wasn’t far from Stirling where my family are from. It was remote and had a hot tub which was great to relax in and stargaze with a glass of champagne.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want! It’s your day and you want to know when you remember it that you wouldn’t change a thing.

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Congratulations Cat & Jonny!

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Contact Brides Up North to see your own Real Wedding featured here: here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Carly Bevan

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Location, Location, Location! Supplier Showcase: Sykes Cottages

January 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Slipping away to a cottage retreat in the middle of nowhere (or somewhere near to spas and shopping where the neighbours can’t hear your raucous singing) for one last “relaxing” weekend with the girls might be expected as your big day approaches, but have you considered a holiday cottage as a potential venue for the wedding day itself?

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In my job as a full time and bridal features writer, I come across gems of wedding venues all the time – from the stately and sublime to the cosy and chic, but I must admit that I hadn’t considered the option of hiring a holiday cottage to host a private and personal wedding celebration until I was approached by Brides Up North sponsor Sykes Cottages

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Why haven’t I thought of this before? 

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Sykes Cottages manage a veritable smorgasbord of beautiful holiday homes which are available to hire for your special day.  Think about it – it’s a wedding “at home” (the dream home of your choice, selected from a vast variety of options that you can browse online), but “on location” at the same time.  Choose your property, location, length of stay and any added extras… then send out the save the dates.  And, as the mini-moon and staycation remain as popular as ever,  the after the event possibilities are endless too.

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Genius.  Maybe that girly get-away can wait…

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Amanda of Sykes Cottages says: So you’ve got the ring (congratulations!) and now you can look forward to the next few weeks and months of planning every little detail of your big day. From the dress to the flowers and the transport, your ‘to-do’ list seems endless.

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When it comes to the venue, your decision is crucial as the venue itself will dictate the tone of the entire day. Whether you choose a grand stately home, your childhood church or an outdoor location, choosing the venue is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions before the big day. But if a grand property isn’t quite what you have in mind, perhaps a more intimate wedding venue would fit the bill.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Finding a holiday cottage ideal for your wedding isn’t as difficult as you might think. Choose a grand property set in beautiful grounds for the wow factor with an intimate feel or a more traditional cottage for a romantic, outdoorsy style. Some properties even have a dance floor, offer a private chef and maid service to ensure your nuptials go without a hitch.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Feeling at home at the venue a few days before the wedding should help settle those last minute nerves on the big day. Book a make-up artist or hairdresser so you and your bridesmaids kick start the day in style. If you’re planning a big day with a home-spun feel, choosing a property to accommodate all the guests in the run up to the wedding is a great choice: make use of the willing volunteers and create a truly unique backdrop to your big day.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Wherever you choose to celebrate your big day, choosing a holiday cottage for the occasion is a good way to guarantee a totally unique wedding. Pick a holiday cottage in some of the UK’s most stunning countryside for exceptional wedding photos that you’ll love forever.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Instead of disappearing on honeymoon towards the end of the reception, many couples now choose to enjoy the first few days of wedded bliss closer to home before embarking on their honeymoon to remember later on. While tradition dictates that the groom to be is responsible for planning (and financing!) the honeymoon, it certainly doesn’t hurt you to drop a few hints in the lead-up to the big day!

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Choosing a holiday cottage is a really great way to combine the high-end finish of a boutique hotel with all the privacy you want in your first few days as a married couple. Find honeymoon accommodation with a private hot tub and celebrate with a glass of champagne under the stars for the perfect start to married life any time of year.

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For a summer honeymoon, why not choose a holiday cottage with access to a swimming pool or by a secluded beach for a wonderful few days. Winter brides might prefer a cosy, traditional cottage with a roaring log fire for romantic days and nights in. Wherever you choose to spend those first few days as Mr and Mrs, you’re sure to leave with memories to treasure.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Got your mind whirring?  Thought as much!  For more information, visit the Sykes Cottages website to find your perfect wedding venue or honeymoon destination.

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  – Images © 2013 supplied by Sykes Cottages

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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