February 3rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
As the cold weather continues to bite, we’re bringing you a little piece of summer this afternoon in the form of Catriona and Pete’s oh-so-pretty wedding day.
Super-sweet and elegant from beginning to end, we love everything about this beautiful celebration. Highlights include Catriona’s stunning Jenny Packham gown, colourful blooms, dainty china and lots of cake!
With images by Tulip Photography.
catriona says: We got engaged on the 23rd January 2013, at Fountains Abbey. We always consider my 21st birthday to be the start of our relationship, the 23rd of January is Pete’s birthday so both birthdays are significant milestones for us. Prior to the proposal it had been snowing. When we arrived at Fountains Abbey and walked down into the ruins to find that we were the only people there. There is a ledge in one of the largest parts of the building and when we got to the top Pete got down on one knee, presented me with the most beautiful ring and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes! We enjoyed the rest of the day walking in the snow as a newly engaged couple and then went home to tell our families the exciting news.
We got married on the 19th July 2014. Pete particularly wanted a summer wedding and we have numerous teachers in our family so the start of the school summer holiday seemed like a natural fit. Pete also wanted to wait for the football World Cup to be over – to avoid any distracted guests! This gave us a year-and-a-half to plan the wedding, which I think is a reasonable time frame. A significant proportion of Pete’s family guests were traveling from Canada to join us and so the timing also allowed for an English summer holiday afterwards.
We got married at Saltmarshe Hall, which is near Howden, East Yorkshire. This is a lovely historic property, which has only recently become a wedding venue. We considered a few local venues and while they all offered different wedding packages, there were none that we felt fit with how we wanted our day to be. When we first went to Saltmarshe and met Kate, the owner, we felt really relaxed and she offered us a level of flexibility, which meant we could shape the entire day exactly as we wanted it to be, including bringing in our own catering and access to numerous rooms and their stunning gardens. We took our parents to look around and fortunately they shared our love of the venue as we had already made our minds up and booked it there and then.
January 6th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This morning’s real wedding is all about colour with pops of vibrant hues peppered throughout the celebrations.
We adore bride Clare’s gorgeous Ronald Joyce lace dress, complete with veil and elegant faux fur cape. Other highlights include the stunning setting, the maids’ pretty Jenny Packham gowns and a rather sweet page boy – what a cutie!
With images by Jess Petrie.
clare says:We were in Ambleside, in the Lake District, when we got engaged. We had gone out for the day on a boat across Windemere with our little boy Harry. Dan was acting very strange to the point where I thought he had gone off me! I got increasingly more anxious and wasn’t too impressed when he asked me to walk the long way home. Mid way through, there is the most amazing view over the mountains where we pass daily to go for breakfast. It was here where he practically stumbled onto one knee (with Harry on his back) and asked me. Needless to say, my mood changed very quickly!
We set the date for 27th March 2015. It was originally going to be 7th November 2014 – I had always dreamed of a winter wedding – however, we had a little surprise in a baby girl, Mollie. She was born on the 4th November and so we thought it would be a bit tight to go through with the wedding then. Spring is always a fabulous time of year and we then imagined daffodils and a brighter sky (which we got) at our chosen venue and the decision was made for a March wedding.
We had a church ceremony and then went onto Bolton Abbey, in Skipton, for the reception. We had thought about getting married near where we live in Oxford, but after having a walk around the grounds when visiting Dan’s parents in Menston we both fell in love with the place.
December 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
It might be Monday, but it’s the last Monday before Christmas which makes it bearable, right? And to ease you into these last few working days before the festive break we have something truly beautiful to share with you – the wedding of Lauren and Lee.
Now this is a couple with impeccable taste who know that you don’t have to go OTT to make a statement. The understated beauty of this wedding is what makes it so special and easy on the eye.
From the chic colour scheme and soft blousy blooms, to the elegant décor and that swoon-worthy Jenny Packham gown (complete with Nana Choos), guys – you nailed it!
With images by Sarah Mason Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged after being together for six years in November 2013. We’d recently moved into our first house together and so Lee proposed at home in our front room, out of the blue after I got home from work one night. I work in retail management, so hours around Christmas time are long and stressful, coming home from work to a proposal at 11pm was definitely a welcome surprise although I was entirely lost for words!
We got married on Sunday 30th August 2015, which was the Bank Holiday weekend. We wanted people to have a little longer to enjoy the celebrations, and be able to travel to the venue and relax the day before. My parents wedding anniversary is on the 31st, and they were celebrating their 30th anniversary this year so it felt like a way to share to celebrations while everyone was together.
We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. We live just outside of Manchester now, but met in Leeds which is where Lee is originally from and where I went to university. We looked around a lot of venues, across the North West and Yorkshire, and found a lot of places only ticked a couple of boxes. One of my bridesmaids suggested Oulton Hall, as she’d looked at it before deciding to get married abroad instead. We fell in love with how it was so grand but in an understated way, and felt really warm. The décor of the Repton Room was something nowhere else had and fitted in with a lot of ideas I’d already had about the wedding. We also liked the idea that the reception is held in another part of the hotel, at The Claret Jug in the golf clubhouse. It was nice to have a change of scenery and have a different ambience for the evening reception.
Another reason we chose a venue in Leeds was because Lee’s dad sadly passed away in 2005 and is buried at the cemetery around the corner from Oulton Hall. It was nice to think although he couldn’t be there, he wasn’t too far away.
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December 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding couple love nothing more than escaping to the beach with their daughter for some quality family time. It was little surprise then that when a wedding venue by the sea was suggested, they booked it straight away.
Taking inspiration from the season, Philip and Amanda’s wedding day featured elegant autumnal touches including some rather unusual white pumpkins that are apparently only available for a few days of the year. Shame, they would suit our office perfectly!
With images by Danny Birrell Photography.
amanda says: We got engaged on 7th December 2013, during a weekend away to York where we met at university (we now live in Whitley Bay). We went for a nice lunch and a few glasses of wine, and got all wrapped up to go for a walk around York. We were in the York Minster Gardens when Phil got down on one knee and popped the question, just as the minster bells began to chime. Everyone around us cheered and it was all very romantic. After seven years together of course I said yes.
We were married on Sunday 18th October 2015. We knew we wanted an autumnal wedding, in October, as that was the month we met nine years previously.
We went for a look around As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, and had a chat with them about their venue. They mentioned a sister venue, Newton Hall in Northumberland, were having an open day soon after, so we went there for a look around, fell in love and reserved the date that day! Newton Hall had a formal, yet relaxed atmosphere that we just loved! All of the little eccentricities just added to the character of the venue, and when we walked into the garden suite, we just knew it was perfect. It was an added bonus it has its very own beach close by!
September 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We love the relaxed vibe of today’s real wedding with Matt and Kay deciding on a fun garden party style big day, complete with Pimms and tug of war!
The pretty mint green and ivory theme works perfectly with the summer season and both Kay and her maids look absolutely gorgeous in their gowns.
The smiles, laughter and love shared on the day is easy to see in the beautiful images that follow…
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
kay says: After nine years together I’d love to say that our engagement was a fairy-tale proposal! In 2013 Matt made a deal with me, he said that if I got him tickets to the Ashes that year, he would marry me. As you can imagine, tickets for matches at this level kind of sell out pretty quickly and often about a year before so it was quite a challenge. Not one to back down, I went on the hunt and after pulling lots of strings and calling in favours I managed to secure two tickets to the test at Trent Bridge. We had a great day and he promised that one day he would keep to his side of the bargain. He finally proposed the week before Christmas a few months later. He popped the question at about 10.30pm whilst I was trying to get sleep! I’d been away all week with work and I think he’d stressed himself out so much he just blurted it out! He didn’t even have a ring! Of course I said yes, and we went shopping for a ring a few days later. On the way home we stopped off at my grandma’s house to tell her the news and as we pulled up outside he got the ring out of the box and asked me again – it was where he had picked me up from for our first date and he’d remembered – he got the romance right second time around!
We got married on Friday 10th July 2015 (two years to the date of the weekend we spent at the Ashes match – although this is a huge coincidence). We wanted a summer wedding so that there was a chance we could spend the day outside. We were both really keen that the day was quite chilled out and wanted to have the atmosphere of a big family/friends gathering – like you would have at a barbecue party! I did a bit of research (ok, quite a bit) on the weather over the last four years which narrowed it down to a few weeks in July where there had been zero rainfall. Luckily the venue only had a few dates left so it was a perfect fit!
We got married at Whirlowbrook Hall in Sheffield and fell in love with it the minute we got there. After lots of research on venues close to where we lived, I’d narrowed it down to three options. We visited each of them over a weekend and as we approached the long sweeping driveway of Whirlowbrook I was won over! It was perfect and had the country house/rustic feel that I wanted, but also had the laid back/modern feel that Matt was looking for. The outdoor lawn was just right for my plans, but the indoor space was perfect if the typical English weather decided to make an appearance!
We met with Judith at the hall and her enthusiasm, knowledge and approach was just what we wanted. It felt like she had been a friend of ours for years and encouraged my ideas of doing things a bit differently!
I wanted the theme to feel like a country garden – lots of fresh summery colours, wild flowers, lace and bunting! It was the style that I was drawn towards the most and fitted in with the outdoor approach that we wanted. I also wanted everything to just be simple and pretty without feeling over the top and to make sure that the day was laid back and not too formal – we just wanted a party really.
Our chosen colours were mint green and ivory with a few pastels thrown in to add a bit of colour where needed! I love the freshness of mint green, and daisies are also one of my favourite flowers so it all fitted in well!
I wanted my dress to be simple, elegant and unique. I almost had a bit of a bridezilla breakdown as I’d visited several boutiques and looked online at different designers but I wasn’t finding anything that matched my vision. After several months of searching, I came across Kate Halfpenny who is based in London and I was mesmerised by her collection. I loved them all! I got in touch with Kate to find out her price range as I didn’t fancy a trip to London to fall in love with a dress that I couldn’t afford. Her reply was even more comforting as she was about to launch her collection outside of London for the first time…in Sheffield! I went to visit her at the launch day which was held at The White Room boutique. After ten minutes of chatting to Kate about what I liked I was being dressed in the Iris slip and jacket – I had that ‘tears’ moment (so did my bridesmaids) and the rest is history!
My hair was done by Katie and Jenny at Parkers in Sheffield. Jo Singleton was my knight in shining armour and made my makeup look fantastic – natural but visible. She also did the makeup for my four bridesmaids.
Matt had his suit tailor made by Sean at Ashford Menswear in Sheffield. He wears suits most days for his job, so wanted something a bit different. Sean was brilliant – he helped him to choose fabrics, explained alternative cuts to make the suit feel unique and suggested ways to add personal touches – this included our names and wedding date being embroidered into the lining of his jacket! He got brownie points from me for this!
Our groomsmen wore whatever they chose and felt comfortable in. They each have their own style and we weren’t bothered about everyone matching.
Our bridesmaids meanwhile all wore dresses that I had found online. Trying to please four girls that are different shapes and sizes wasn’t an easy task (I’m sure many brides experience this), but the one shoulder, fitted on top/floaty on bottom, knee-length style looked perfect on all of them. Their shoes were from BHS.
The amazing Jo and Simon at Shoot Photography captured our day for us. We met them at our friend’s wedding four years ago and had followed their work ever since. There was only ever one choice of photographer for us and I checked they were available before confirming the venue! They are just wonderful – so professional, but laid back and they make you feel at ease from the minute you meet them. Neither of us like our photograph being taken, but their sense of humour helped us to relax and actually enjoy it!
I wanted my bouquet to look like I’d picked it from the garden, so quite wild looking and not very neat! Jo Price Flowers in Sheffield did an amazing job with a very minimal brief. The colours were green and white and it included lots of daisies.
Jo Price Flowers also assisted with the flowers for the décor by helping me to fill several jugs and jam jars (that I’d been collecting for over a year). I collected other bits from a variety of places – Etsy, The Range, Hobbycraft and other online websites – to make pretty much all of our decorations. My maid of honour was very handy with a sewing machine and so made all of the bunting that was used in the Oak Room! Matt’s dad made all of the outdoor signage from old bits of wood. It was a collective effort and a lot of the items were homemade – I wanted it to have a personal touch.
We didn’t give favours to guests as such, but I put in a rush order of paper heart shaped fans on the Monday when I knew the temperatures were going to reach 25/26c – they went down a treat! I also bought lots of flip flops for our female guests to wear – no one likes heels on the grass!
In terms of food and drink, we had canapés and Pimms to start with and then had a full barbecue with a choice of wines as the main dinner. We had picnic blankets spread across the lawn and picnic basket stations with wine glasses, bottle coolers and cutlery etc. I think a fair few bottles of prosecco were drunk too!
For the entertainment, we had a fantastic band called Highway Child to play – they actually learnt our first dance and played it live for us. I’ve known the lead singer of the band for a number of years and have seen them play several times – I wouldn’t have had anyone else!
We also had garden games spread out across the lawn for our guests to entertain themselves with the space hopper race, limbo pole and Stags v Hens tug of war going down a treat! We also had giant Twister, giant Connect Four and Quoits. Everyone just seemed to be having fun and it was so nice to see everyone smiling and laughing.
We would absolutely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The team were brilliant from start to finish. Judith listened to my ideas and was always at the end of the phone/email if I had any concerns or needed a recommendation. I always felt like they were I complete control and that’s a must for any bride. It was also the personal touches on the day which made a big difference, they knew exactly how we would be feeling at every point and they really looked after us. Danny and his team were great throughout the day and they always had a smile on their faces. We felt like we were with friends who had known us for years.
I loved all of it the wedding but I think my favourite bit was when we were walking back up the driveway after we had been to do photographs (just Matt and I) – all we could hear was laughter and we just saw everyone having fun. It was exactly how I had wanted it to be.
Following the wedding we had a mini-moon in Ibiza for five days…I needed sunshine! We delayed our two-week honeymoon to America until this month. We have booked four days in New York, then we fly to San Francisco and spend four days there before picking up a convertible Mustang (super excited to drive this!) and driving down the coast of California to Carmel. We then have four days of exploring (and hopefully relaxing) before we travel home.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to make sure that you take time off in the lead up to the big day. Also, ask people to help as there is so much to do and don’t forget to book in time to treat yourself! I spent the day before being completely pampered (nails etc.) with my maid of honour and it was definitely needed!
September 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we have another wedding that stands out, not for having an unusual theme or vibrant colour scheme, but due to its simplicity.
After finding a dream venue in the West Tower, bride Victoria set to work adding elegant touches for the classic wedding she’d always dreamed of.
We love Victoria’s stunning Ronald Joyce gown, her maids’ lovely latte coloured dresses, the chic looking cake and all the pretty peonies. Just perfect!
With images by Teresa C Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012, three months after having our little boy so Christian asked me when he had got in from work as he was working that Christmas Day. Not very romantic but it was nice.
We picked the date the 30th May 2015 for the wedding because ever since we have been together the weather has always been nice around that time of year.
We got married at West Tower, Ormskirk. I was told about the venue by my florist, who I have known for more than 15 years. We went and took a look around and fell I love with it that much it made me cry. It was just what we were looking for, it had character but was modern at the same so was perfect for us.
I wanted an elegant theme just because it looks so lovely and classy. I think I went for this theme once we had found our venue and I had found my dress as it made me feel elegant so everything just fell into place.
I went with a latte type of colour scheme as again I thought it looked elegant and classy. I just knew I didn’t want bright colours.
I chose a dress I didn’t think I would have as it had a high neckline and I always thought I would go for a strapless. It also had a lot of Swarovski crystals, which again I didn’t think of having initially. When I tried it on I was very surprised as it made stand up straight and made me feel so elegant – I just loved it. I did keep looking for a while but I just kept going back to the first one so that’s how I knew it was ‘the one’.
My dress was by Ronald Joyce and my full length vail was by Joyce Jackson, both bought from Romantica in Wigan. My headdress was by Richard Designs and that was from a friend’s bridal shop, Bride 2 Be, in Leigh. My shoes where Jenny Packham from Debenhams and all jewellery was from Debenhams too.
My husband, the best man and ushers all wore Moss London slim fitted suits with bid like waistcoats, which we thought really set them off. Their shoes were from Aldo and Topman and shirts from TM Lewin. Sue at The Wow Factor (who is amazing) made our son Harry’s full suit, the men’s ties and pocket ties and the bridesmaid dresses.
For transport on the wedding day we hired a Daimler car from Grace Wedding Cars in Ashton Wigan, which was lovely.
Our photographer was Teresa C Photography, who had already done photos for us in the past which we love so we didn’t hesitate at all in asking her would she do our wedding and the outcome was amazing. She is a very talented photographer and we would highly recommend her, as we always do.
Our cake was made by Jane at Coco Cakes. I wanted a simple cake with pearls and a faded colour effect. We also wanted it to be all different flavours, as it was going to be our evening desert after our barbecue. We went for Victoria sponge, carrot, chocolate and then lemon drizzle, plus more chocolate in 50 cupcakes. It was all delicious. She is amazing at cake making and I’ve always got my cakes made by her. It was a three-day proses to make the cake, which was well worth it – she is a perfectionist!
Stacey Whitaker from Perfect Daze, in Wigan, created all the flower arrangements, including those carried by me and my bridesmaids. I wanted all flowers for table arrangements to be mainly hydrangeas and peonies so left Stacey to work her magic. She is an amazing florist and would highly recommend her and her team.
As favours we gave soaps to the ladies and scratch cards to the men.
The entertainment for the evening was a band called Kings of the Dance Floor, who we found on the intern. They were an indie type of band and really got the place rocking! They were excellent all night and the dance floor was packed from beginning to end, which I guess you get with a very good band.
Special touches on the day included my one of my best friends Olie, giving me away as my mum and dad have both passed away. I also had an old picture of my parents displayed on the day. The best man David did an amazing job of his speech and everybody has been talking about it since. He managed to get everyone clicking their fingers to the Adams Family!
We would highly recommend West Tower to other couples, as they couldn’t do enough for us and the whole day ran smoothly. It was an amazing day, and one we will never forget!
We have yet to go on honeymoon. We are planning that for next year as we have just done the two of the most stressful things in life – buying a house and getting married.
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