August 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When your parents have a garden as stunning as today’s real wedding bride Katy’s, what ya gonna do? Throw the most gorgeous country-themed wedding reception that is tailored perfectly to your tastes of course! After one or two nightmares during the planning stages – think putting your coffee on the roof of your car while you search for your keys and driving off with it still in situ and then multiply this by around a hundred! – Katy and Greg totally pulled off a dreamy wedding day to be proud of, with a little help from their family and friends.
We’re loving all the super pretty country garden style touches; from gorgeous seasonal blooms to the delicate pompoms and cute bunting suspended from the marquee ceiling. Katy and Greg went to town with the personalisation, too – including shot glasses as favours, beer mat save the dates and a customised cake topper – there’s no mistaking who the happy couple are!
And we can’t hand the floor over to Katy without a mention of her amazing Jenny Packham gown – so elegant and snapped up in a sample sale for a fraction of the price. Serious dress goals! Over to you, Katy…
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
katy says: We bought our first house last July in West Didsbury, and Greg proposed moments after we stepped through the door when we got the keys – I was caught completely off guard! The engagement ring was his grandma’s, which made it even more special.
We got married on 9th June 2018, at Chester Town Hall. I’d never been inside Chester Town Hall but knew it was a lovely historic building from the outside. When we saw the ceremony room, it had so much detail that we knew it was perfect for what we needed. We would highly recommend it. For such a beautiful building, it was surprisingly cheap to get married there. Our registrar, Honora Crisp, was also really lovely.
We had the reception in a marquee at my parents’ house in Manley, near Chester. My parents have a beautiful garden, but I’d never thought of having our wedding there until I bumped into someone I used to work with who told me she had just had her wedding in her parents’ garden, which gave me the idea. We knew from the start we wanted our wedding to be really relaxed and there were a few non-negotiables to make this happen, such as a free bar and sharing plates of food on the tables!
In terms of a theme, I guess I would describe the style as ‘country’. I did watercolour flowers and hand-drawn writing for the invitations and signage on the day. We have also been told that our wedding theme was ‘alcohol’ (!) as our save the dates were beer mats, we had a free bar, vodka bottles on the tables, and we all drank Greg’s sugar-free prosecco (he runs a sugar-free prosecco business on the side). I also used corks for the name holders and menu holders, and Mr & Mrs corks for the cake decoration!
For the colour scheme, pink and purple are my favourite colours, so I knew it was going to be one of those for my bridesmaids’ dresses. With the wedding being in June, we were going to have peonies as our flowers and I thought a dusty pink would look lovely with them. As navy complements pink really well and Greg tends to wear a lot of navy anyway, that was an easy decision for the suits! We had lots of other pastel colours, with blues, purples and yellows on our signage and decorations, such as the bunting.
For my dress, I’d done tonnes of research on Pinterest and narrowed down shops in the North West that would fit my budget. I was on a mission to get something lace and A-line. We live around the corner from The White Closet in West Didsbury, but I’d initially dismissed them as they were out of my price range. I saw a post on Facebook on the Friday night saying they’d had a cancellation for their sample sale that weekend and I managed to get that slot! As it was so last minute, my mum and bridesmaids couldn’t make it but fortunately my friend Claire was able to come along. I remember walking in and thinking none of the dresses would suit me. Claire took a dress of the rails that was quite sparkly that I’d normally dismiss but I tried one on and absolutely fell in love with it. I can’t believe I had that ‘dress moment’ when Claire and I both cried! I think I was in shock that it was the opposite of what I’d had in mind, but it made me feel amazing. The dress was Carrie (with ivory beads) by Jenny Packham and I managed to get it for a fraction of the price in the sample sale, so it was still within my budget!
June 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Richard and Francesca’s dreamy engagement atop an Italian castle inspired the rustic Italian theme for their glorious ‘back garden’ wedding in the height of the English summer. And, when you have a back garden like that of Francesca’s parents, there could be no finer place to pitch your yurt, scatter your hay bales and soak up the atmosphere to the chilled-out sound of a five-piece band in the sunshine!
A wedding sign proclaimed “Let us make our own fairy tale today” – and Richard and Francesca duly did. They even enjoyed a sprinkle of fairy godmother magic: Richard’s late grandmother spoke to them across the decades in a letter 30 years old and gifted Francesca a gorgeous diamond ring despite never having known her.
Wearing a stunning Jenny Packham gown, Francesca looked every inch the modern princess. We love the capped sleeve detail and beading that echoes a sunbeam pattern across the bodice – the perfect complement to a sunny June day. Apparently, Richard planned most of the big day by himself and we have to agree with his bride that he did a marvellous job #majorgroompoints
With images by Eyesome Photography.
francesca says: We got engaged in a small town called Calitri in southern Italy in August 2015. We were on holiday with my family and Richard arranged to have a tour of a castle in the town in the evening. What I didn’t know was that he planned the whole evening weeks in advance. He arranged for the castle to stay open after hours and for us to have a private tour. When we reached the top of the castle with views of the vineyards and open countryside, whilst the sun was setting I turned around from looking at the view and there he was, on one knee. As you can imagine I was shocked and taken back. Perfect proposal.
We got married on 3rd June 2017, in a very small local church in Copt Hewick, Ripon. The reception was in my parents’ garden, a short walk from the church. This was the home I grew up in, so I had always dreamt of this for my wedding day.
Our theme was Italian rustic. We chose this style because of where we got engaged and also because we have lots of family holidays across Italy every year and we love the food. We didn’t really have a colour scheme – just very rustic colours.
For my dress, I went to The Bridal Collection in Harrogate and chose a Jenny Packham gown. I tried it on and instantly knew it was the one. My shoes were Aquazzura and my veil was borrowed from a good friend.
Richard, the groomsmen and dads wore navy blue suits with light pink ties, which they hired from a local suit shop in Harrogate.
May 29th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
The gorgeous couple we’re featuring today wanted a delicate colour scheme of nudes and neutrals in keeping with their elegant North Yorkshire venue, The Orangery, hence this dreamy palette of the palest of pinks, golds and lots of brilliant, bright white.
Having studied photography, bride Jennifer knew exactly what she wanted from her pictures and keeping everything clean and natural really did make the few splashes of bold colour – her scarlet lipstick, the rich blue of their wedding bicycle – ‘pop’.
This savvy pair made a few small-spend but big-impact decisions which we’re sure Brides Up North readers will adore: firstly, the 200-candle ‘Wall of Light’, which added a warm glow to their autumnal celebration and, secondly, two £8 confetti cannons. Just take a look at those first dance pictures – we’re simply in awe.
Elegance overload heading your way…
With images by John Hope Photography.
jennifer says: We got engaged during a late Valentine’s/birthday night away. We stayed in a cosy treehouse retreat in Yorkshire, which was lovely. Scott popped the question over a bottle of champagne in the treehouse surrounded by lots of photos of our best memories.
Our wedding was on 14th October 2017. We chose that time of the year as Scott is a professional cyclist and spends most of the year racing all over the world. October is his off season, i.e. our only opportunity to have a honeymoon without a bike in tow! Autumn is also our favourite time of the year and we were keen to have lots of autumnal colours in our photographs.
We got married at All Saints Church, Settrington, and our reception was held next door at The Orangery. We came across it while we were looking for videographers – we saw the venue on one of the films and immediately booked to go and have a look. As soon as we arrived and walked inside we knew it was the one for us! It’s set on a private estate, so we were guaranteed complete privacy and a personal service. They only hold around twelve weddings a year, which felt even more special. The Orangery is surrounded by trees and woodland which we knew would look fantastic in autumn and we liked the idea of being able to walk to the venue from the church. It really is the perfect setting!
Styling-wise, we wanted a light, modern feel to fit with The Orangery. We were after a light colour scheme without any strong colours and so we opted for white, pale pink and gold touches to complement the venue.
My dress was Dallas by Jenny Packham. I’d previously tried on lots of different dresses in a wide range of styles. I remember looking on the Jenny Packham website and seeing the Dallas gown and wanting to try it on – however, on my dress shopping weekend in London, I didn’t have the time. A few weeks passed and I’d almost confirmed an order for a Stewart Parvin at The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. I went to have a final try and they had just got the Dallas dress in stock. I tried it on and fell in love with it! It wasn’t what I’d originally imagined but I think a lot of women end up with a dress that’s different to what they thought they’d go for.
Scott wore navy blue tails with a grey waistcoat. He hired them from Youngs; there was an option to select a suit to try on at home which made the process very easy! The groomsmen also wore navy blue tails from Young’s online with a matching blue waistcoat.
April 12th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Certain parings just work seamlessly: gin and tonic, sea salt and caramel, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Harry and Meghan – as well as our latest duo obsession: L.K.Bennett and Jenny Packham. That’s right ladies, the British luxury high-street brand and bridal designer extraordinaire have joined forces and talents to produce a mesmerising collection of bridal shoes that we guarantee will shoot straight to the top of your wedding attire wish list!
Quite literally a power coupling, the two parties possess all the necessary skills and vision to create the finest footwear that will take you from your ceremony to your celebrations, and beyond! Trust us when we say these designs are far too fabulous to only see the light of day once.
The collection combines the aesthetic of both Jenny Packham’s and L.K.Bennett’s designs, resulting in sixteen shoe styles that have been carefully thought out to deliver not only fashionable options, but also varying heel heights, colourways and fabrics. Better still, the collection includes four chic clutch bags – a bride needs a place to keep her lippy on her big day, right?
For us personally we are 100% starry eyed over the amazing Felicity though also adore the luxe appearance of more subtle styles, such as Brielle and Ellena. The whole collection is totally swoon-worthy though as you’re about to discover with the fabulous L.K.Bennett team taking hold of the blogging reins this morning to talk us through the heavenly collab step by step…
Can you tell us how the collaboration with renowned designer Jenny Packham came about and what you wanted the collection bring to the bridal fashion scene?
l.k. bennett say: It felt so natural to collaborate with Jenny Packham, an iconic British fashion brand that has become synonymous with red carpet elegance and luxurious bridal silhouettes. The combination of the Jenny Packham aesthetic with the timeless, distinctive handwriting of L.K.Bennett has led to a breathtakingly-beautiful collection of bridal bags and shoes; a collaboration that showcases a variety of styles and heel heights to suit traditional brides and modern romantics. L.K.Bennett x Jenny Packham brings choice, versatility and vintage-inspired elegance to the bridal scene; designs that can be worn for her big day and beyond.
What was the inspiration behind the collection?
Inspired by the leading ladies of the golden age of cinema, the collection fuses the mesmerising glamour of Old Hollywood icons Vivien Leigh and Bette Davis, with the vintage style of 1930’s Paris.
Can you give us an overview of the styles that make up the collection?
The collaboration showcases 16 bridal shoes and four bridal clutch bags. The Dahlia high sandal is dressed with a light-catching drop crystal ‘necklace’ reminiscent of Art Deco jewels, whilst the Felicity strappy sandal features sparkling stars that will add a statement touch to understated wedding dresses. The Fern satin court, embellished with delicate crystals, is a bridal take on our bestselling design, and the perfect partner to the co-ordinating Brigitte clutch bag.
And can you tell us a little about the detailing and fabrics?
We wanted to create a collection to suit all types of ceremonies, from relaxed surroundings to more traditional settings. With this in mind, L.K.Bennett x Jenny Packham features a variety of heel heights, from 100mm to 50mm and flat options. Every bride should look and feel amazing on her big day, and the Italian nappa leather, French lace and fine satin used within the collection reflects the desire for something extra special.
What type of bride would the collection appeal to?
There’s a style to suit every bride-to-be in our collaboration. Whether she considers herself to be a touch more traditional or a fashion-forward romantic, there’s something to please everyone.
Which shoe design out of the collection would you suggest for a bride wanting to make a statement?
Our show-stopping Dahlia sandals which are the epitome of high-octane glamour; created in the finest Italian nappa leather and indulgently designed jewels inspired by a bygone era.
And what shoe design would you suggest for a bride wanting to keep their look traditional and elegant?
The Brielle designed in sumptuous Italian nude satin – a stylish alternative to timeless white or ivory – it’s our contemporary take on the classic bridal sandal.
What would be your top tip to brides when choosing their shoes and accessories for their big day?
To think about their personal style and the venue when choosing the perfect bridal shoes and accessories. If you’re concerned about comfort, consider switching your shoes for a bridal block heel or dressy flat after the ceremony and in time for the first dance. The ‘finishing touches’ to your bridal look should complement your style and reflect your personality.
February 8th, 2018 | Julia Braime
What do a horsebox, a pizza oven and a donut wall all have in common? Nope, this isn’t our attempt at a bad joke, but rather they all feature in today’s stunner of a real wedding.
The lovely Jessica and her beau Mike booked out all of the cottages at their stunning rural venue the night before the main event and treated their guests to the finest in laidback outdoor cuisine to get everyone in the mood for the celebration ahead. Family and friends ate, drank and were merry, turning their wedding into a whole weekend to remember.
In planning their rustic big day, Jessica and Mike wanted to create the sense that the colours and textures were “organic…the same indoors as out”. Looking at their gorgeous autumnal palette, the groom’s tweed and the bride’s woodland blooms, we think they definitely achieved their mission.
With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.
jessica says: We got engaged on a mini road trip. Mike simply came into the house one afternoon and said “let’s go!’ We started at Drury where we stopped at the chippy, drove all the way to the top of Hope Mountain, found a rocky outcrop and sat and ate chips. As I was looking out over the beautiful views of Wales and Cheshire a ring box caught my eye.
Our wedding date was 27th November 2017. There was no particular reason behind the date, but I’d always liked the idea of an autumn wedding. The colours of the leaves are so beautiful, although I was a little bit worried about unpredictable weather.
Our ceremony and reception was at Combermere Abbey in Whitchurch. We booked the accommodation at Combermere for the night before meaning that both sets of family and friends could stay over and get to know each other. We had a total of nine cottages, which easily accommodated 49 guests. We transported a pizza oven in a horse box and served pizza, nibbles and drinks all night. The bridal party moved onto the Stone Lodge later on, and continued the party.
The theme we picked was rustic to fit in with our surroundings and the Abbey grounds, so we incorporated lots of wood and greenery. Our colour scheme was autumnal to fit in with what was going on outdoors – we wanted everything to flow and feel quite organic; that the colours and textures were the same indoors as out.
I chose a Rebecca Ingram dress – it was a lace and tulle dress in a blush pink colour with white lace and matching veil purchased from Aristocrats in Chester. The staff were extremely helpful and made the process very easy. I chose it because I loved it on the hanger, and my mum told me before I’d even tried it on that it was the one for me. She was 100% right!
Mike wore a tweed suit jacket and waistcoat bought from Chester City Gate. He hired the trousers from Swarbricks in Manchester to match with the ushers’ suits. We’d seen Swarbricks at a wedding show and we loved their range of tweed.
We had three sets of bridesmaids: the older girls wore Jenny Packham from Debenhams, the younger ones wore Next dresses and the babies wore Monsoon. They were all in shades of burgundy and pinks to complement my gown.
December 7th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Eliza Jane Howell
T’is the season to be festive and that means going all out with the glitz and the glamour – we’re talking heavily embellished, glittering gowns to send your betrothed weak at the knees, full-on swishy skirts a princess would be proud of (take note, Meghan) and gold and silver metallics to make your guests’ jaws drop. Feast your eyes on these glitz and glam gowns.
First stop on the train to destination sparkle is Jenny Packham, an expert at marrying glittery gorgeousness with an elegant silhouette. Take the romantically named Valentine – an extravagantly detailed bodice balanced with a crepe lace skirt – and the Euphoria, which is embellished from head to toe in flattering vertical contours. Awe epitomises daring sophistication – a crystal-encrusted figure-hugging number that balances a plunging neckline with beautiful cap sleeves – while Rapture is star-studded and glorious.
For serious swishability style points, Hayley Paige is right on the money, with dreamy skirts just begging to be whisked around a fairy-tale dance floor. We’re awarding the Gael a whopping 10/10 on the swishability scale – an embellished ball gown with dimensional floral beading and embroidery, a rhinestone-beaded strap, a low open back and, of course, that glorious full tulle skirt. Hot on its heels is the Lincoln, a sequin- and crystal-encrusted ball gown with a full, layered tulle skirt and the Rory, a lace ball gown with cashmere lining and a full, cascading tulle skirt. Just don’t swish too close to the candles.
Eliza Jane Howell
Eliza Jane Howell’s collections take us on a historical journey, each gown evoking an era and style that is breath-taking. Within the Stardust collection you’ll find sassy silver dresses exploding with pizzazz. Take Portia, Zeta and Comet – you could be forgiven for thinking real stars lie captured in the shimmering fabrics. Full-on, unforgettable dazzle with a vintage vibe: not what your guests will expect. If you love a bit of silver but want to tone it down a bit, take a look at the Fredrika, a flapper-style, rather regal gown, and the Hope, with its art deco vibe. Both rock a beautiful silvery accent that delivers more than just a nod to the party season.
From shimmering silver to glimmering gold, Ruth Milliam is showcasing statement gold-kissed gowns this season – some a little whacky, like the yellow-tinted Orphelia. We love the Tatiana, with its hand-sewn gold-leaf beading, and the Bianca, a voluminous tulle skirt with delicate floral lace topped with gold detailed straps. For the bold bride there’s the Ianthe, a long-sleeved gold and silver hand-beaded gown that doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination but is balanced with a full, silk organza skirt. Milliam gowns are made to order and can be hand-dyed to any colour so, if you fancy a jolly Father Christmas red for your Christmas Eve wedding, you can go for it! Who said a bride should wear white?
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