Brides Up North

Elegance Opulence. Mori Lee For A Real Wedding At Rockliffe Hall – Jemma & Danny

June 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Focal Point Photography

This evening we join Jemma and Danny for their elegant and opulent Real Wedding in Country Durham.  I actually said my own wedding vows under the very same roof at Durham School Chapel, so sharing their wedding on these pretty pages holds a special significance for me and brings back reminders of my own big day.

I think I’ll be logging off early today to spend some extra time with my lovely hubby.  In the meantime, enjoy Jemma and Danny’s lovely celebration.

With images by Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Jemma says: Danny had taken my sister to Tiffany & Co to help pick the engagement ring before our holiday to Las Vegas. He asked me to marry him on a private terrace overlooking the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. Complete surprise we were just having our “photo taken” and playing guess the next song for the fountains when Danny correctly guessed “Elton John Your Song” I realised that there was something up when he got down on one knee and obviously I said yes!

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

We got married on 22nd February 2014 at Durham School Chapel with our reception at Rockliffe Hall.   I went to school at Durham and the chapel meant a lot me and Rockliffe is just a stunning venue.

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

We worked with Noble Fine Art  to design our wedding invites and they designed us a J&D monogram. The bridesmaid dresses were made with a small amount of rose gold lace by Jim Hjelm and we married the two together. We then found Coco Luminaire and we had giant J&D letters at our evening reception. The overall theme was elegant opulence.

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

I chose a Mori Lee dress from Y.A.P Bridal boutique in Newcastle. It was not what I expected to pick, it was jewelled and beaded and very intricate not what I thought. I only tried on four wedding dresses and three of those were in a different shop prior to trying “the one” on. Y.A.P were fantastic!

Focal Point Photography

My bridesmaids wore dresses from Jim Hjelm supplied by Accent Bridal in Newcastle. We were very lucky in that the rose gold lace was no longer used by Jim Hjelm due to availability of supply but as we loved it so much Accent rang the suppliers and managed to find the last few yards!

The junior bridesmaids dress did not have any gold lace so Ann from Diva Designs at Seaham made us a bolero which tied everything together.

We used the excess lace to put around the bottom of my flowers and a small amount on the mother of the bride’s corsage. So an inadvertent theme all based around a bit of lace!

The groomsmen all wore the same three piece suit from Moss Bros.

Focal Point Photography

My mum made me a personalised garter with something old, new borrowed and blue in it. The something borrowed & old was her mums’ wedding ring.

Focal Point Photography

Amanda Bell was my make up artist and I had her for the day. She felt like part of the family from the make-up trial to the actual day and getting touched up between photos I felt like a celebrity!

Hooker and Young at Wynyard were in charge of my wedding hair. Marcus King and Rebecca honestly went above and beyond. They already had a wedding that day when I went to book mine but Marcus started really early and I was so happy with my hair.

Focal Point Photography

I carried a bouquet of ivory roses from Flowers By Nattrass, Darlington.  The bouquets and service we received were beautiful.

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Aurora Strings played in the chapel and every time they stopped playing Danny thought I had arrived and went white as a sheet – brilliant!

Focal Point Photography

Danny’s favourite bit of the day was seeing me come into the chapel and I have to agree seeing his face and his best man giving him a pat on the back was one of mine too!

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography came very highly recommended and to be honest we never shopped around as we knew we wanted them. We made the right decision since as a not very photogenic couple we are so happy with the final photos!

One Digital Image were chose for our wedding video and honestly they were truly fantastic! I would have been so late without Janet’s help and they were just as excited as we were!

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

My mum and I did the centrepieces and we were very proud of them.  I also made individual horseshoes to arrange up the steps of the Chapel (all 97 of them)!

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

We had Jason Isaacs, a swing singer to start the evening entertainment off and then our friend Bodg from Capital radio was our DJ. His wedding present to us was public liability insurance so Rockliffe Hall would let him do it… he will never know how much it meant to us both!

We also hired a photo booth from Snaparazzi – all our guests commented on how amazing the booth was but the owner Ross was our favourite part as he let us take refuge in the booth whilst he was setting up so we could catch our breath before the evening event!

Focal Point Photography

Focal Point Photography

I think my favourite part of the day were the speeches from my dad who is normally a man of few words to three A4 pages of notes to Danny’s speech who had everyone clutching the Kleenex.  Our mini bridesmaid and our youngest usher surprised us with personalised poems and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better Bobby the best man absolutely stole the show from silver platform shoes to a PowerPoint to a The Hangover style video.

Focal Point Photography

For our honeymoon we jetted off to the Hawaiian Islands!

Focal Point Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that when thinking of your suppliers for the day go for the people that are supplying them. Remember you need to spend the best day of your life with them and deal with them up to and after the ceremony. No amount of amazing photos on websites will block out a really annoying person or someone who stressed out for the day.

Focal Point Photography

Congratulations Jemma & Dan!

Would you like to share your own Real Wedding with Brides Up North?  Get in touch.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Focal Point Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Marquee In The Meadow: A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Francesca & Ivan

November 19th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding in Yorkshire by Andy Hook Photography

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After a weekend off celebrating two years in business (lets wait till The Brides Up North Christmas Party for that!) indulging in a bit of shopping with the girls, catching up on emails and invoicing and a really rather good pub lunch at our soon to be local, I’m diving back into the Real Wedding pretty headfirst.

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Monday is off to a fabulous start with this beautiful big day in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, sent to me by real bride and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Francesca of the gorgeous bridal boutique Choola in Sheffield and talented Andy Hook Photography

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I always love to see how industry colleagues style their own celebrations, and Francesca and Ivan’s perfectly pastel country meadow wedding certainly doesn’t disappoint on ooh factor (not least because of their cute ring bearers – watch out for them).  Let’s hear from the lady herself. 

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Yorkshire Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Choola Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Francesca says:  We got engaged (unofficially) at The British Bridal Exhibition in March 2011! I guess there couldn’t be a more perfect place with us owning a bridal boutique!   Ivan took me completely by surprise but as he wanted my parent’s permission first we had to keep it secret until a few days later when he had been to see my parents. He then officially proposed in May with a beautiful ring made especially from my black pearl given to me for my 18th birthday set with two stunning diamonds!

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Andy Hook Photography

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We tied the knot on 16th June 2012 at St James Church, Norton, Sheffield followed by a “Marquee in the Meadow” reception behind my in-laws’ home in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

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The church holds many memories for me so there was no where else we could have married! It is a beautiful church and having attended since being a little girl, I knew I would feel totally at ease walking down aisle there.

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We wanted to have a marquee reception as we didn’t want anything too formal and wanted a setting completely unique to us where no one had been before. It meant we could put our own stamp on it and there wouldn’t be any restrictions.  Our family is very relaxed and often quite spontaneous so having the marquee gave us the freedom to just let the day evolve, without any time restrictions or rules!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We wanted the wedding to have that thrown together kind of look. I love anything classic but quirky so that’s what we went for: relaxed country glamour.   We chose several colours to work with:  lemon, pale pink, mint green, lavender and powder blue. This was reflected in the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers.

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Andy Hook Photography

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I was very spoiled and had a beautiful couture gown made for me by the very talented Sharon Bowen Haute Couture. I have always loved Sharon’s collections and knew that she would be the only person to make my dress. Having previously designed for Dior and Chloe I knew I was in safe hands!

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Sharon and I designed the dress together and it was perfect. It was made from duchesse satin, tulle, beaded lace and hand stitched silk flowers. The jacket was made from matching hand beaded lace.

I wanted a dress that was very “me”. It had to be quirky but still classic enough to stand the test of time.

I have to admit that I did feel a bit of pressure to wear something spectacular! As the owner of a bridal boutique, I was constantly being asked what I was going to wear so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations!

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My something old was my sister’s veil. We re-made it to create a “frouf” as we affectionately called it! This created volume before the train of the veil.  My something new was my dress and my fabulous Aruna Seth shoes!  My something borrowed was my best friends gorgeous Chanel earrings and my something blue was a ribbon stitched into my gown.  As well as my veil, I also wore a diamante seahorse hairclip in my hair. I absolutely love seahorses and knew I would have to involve them somewhere!

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I carried the most stunning bouquet made mostly from peonies – my favourite flower – along with roses, lavender, rosemary and a whole host of other beautiful flowers by Petalis, Sheffield. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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The bridesmaids dresses were by Alvina Valenta and Jim Hjelm.  I wanted each of the girls to wear a different dress in a different colour and it was one of the easiest shopping trips ever! They all loved their gowns and I think it took less than an hour for all five of them to try on, decide and order.  They then all wore fabulous heels by Paradox London all dyed to match their dresses individually. I gave them each a silver bracelet to wear on the day as well as a candle in the scent used for the wedding to remind them of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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The groomsmen all wore morning suits from Dapper Suits in charcoal and black with double breasted waistcoats. They wore soft dove grey and ivory and each chose their own tie. It was great to see a mixture of spots, stripes and colour.  Ivan and the best man Alisdaire wore sand coloured linen double breasted waistcoats. They all looked very handsome!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Ivan arrived at the church in a vintage Austin Healey that belongs to his father. His dad spent months restoring the car so we could use it for the wedding! Ivan’s mum tied coloured ribbons to the handles and made a “Just Married” sign complete with shining tin cans. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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During the service, Ivan surprised me by having our dogs as ring bearers! He pretended to have forgotten the rings and then whistled and our Jack Russell came scampering down the ails with the ring tied to a bow! A second whistle and our Springer spaniel came running down the aisle with the other ring! Fabulous!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Saying my vows and marrying my best friend was so overwhelming I could have burst with happiness. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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When we came out of the church, the ushers made a shotgun arch and as Ivan and I walked through, they all fired confetti from their shotguns!  Ivan runs a shoot and we were keen for our day to really reflect us and what is special to us, so having our dogs involved in our ceremony and shotguns firing confetti was just perfect for us. 

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After the rain had stopped, the best man surprised us by having access to some private land behind Hassop Hall. This meant we could get some spectacular photos overlooking the valley sitting on the back of the Austin Healy. Just magical! Ivan and I then sped off in the car around Bakewell with the “just married” sign flapping in the wind and tin cans rattling along the road! It was a wonderful moment that will never leave me. 

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Once we arrived at the marquee (now back in the Mercedes to save the Austin Healey from being wrecked!) we were greeted by a red tractor to tow us onto the field! The heavy rain has made the lane and field impassable so cue tractor and toe rope and bride and groom arrived safely at the marquee much to the amusement and delight of our guests. I don’t think many brides arrive being dragged by a tractor but yet again it just added to the fun of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We only used little decoration in the marquee (Ascot Marquees) as we wanted the gorgeous flowers to really stand out. Some bunting, lanterns, candles and some hanging hearts and birds completed the look. We also had a Bride and Groom Scarecrow to greet our guests in the entrance to the marquee that Ivan had spent hours making the night before the wedding in the pouring rain. They were fantastic though and added to the country feel of the day. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a gorgeous cake made for us by Anna of HunkyDory Cakes in Sheffield. We gave her a rough brief but then left her to her own devices and the result was amazing. We were very laid back about all aspects of our wedding and I loved walking into the marquee and having the cake and flowers as a surprise. The cake was four tiers made of fruit, chocolate, lemon and mocha. Delicious!

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The rest of the catering was done by Big On Taste near Derby.

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a jazz band (The Bungalow Band) to play for the guests on arrival at the marquee. They were so good that the guests were dancing straight away! We sadly only caught the end of them as we were away having our photographs taken (and having a drink in the pub).  We then had a live band for the evening called Twice Around and Mick, the drummer and family friend also DJ’d for us.  The dance floor was packed all night!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the wedding we had a couple of days in the Lake District staying at Candlewyck Barn arranged for us by the best man. We could only take a couple of days off though as we had so many brides marrying this summer that we had to get back to the shop! We are planning to take our “honeymoon proper” this Christmas though. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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I have two tips for other Brides Up North, one practical and the other profound!

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The first, is if you can, have a wedding planner. Lisa Hilliard was fantastic and as it was a marquee reception, having someone there to oversee all the logistics was very reassuring. She was fantastic on the day and really enabled everyone to relax and enjoy the day. 

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The second tip is don’t over-think things and don’t worry!  All that matters is that you get to marry your soul mate! It’s very easy to get wrapped up in small details or worrying about what may or may not be. Ultimately it’s the marriage that matters with the day simply being the start of a fantastic journey so don’t sweat the small things.  With my husband and I having had our fair share of tragedy, we have learnt that life is short and very precious. Put things into perspective and make the most of what really matters.  The day comes and goes so quickly that my advice is to enjoy every minute of the planning and the day, whilst it may be a cliché it really is the best day of your life, so relax, don’t stress, and enjoy!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Congratulations Francesca & Ivan!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how. 

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  – Images © 2012 Andy Hook Photography

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Made In Heaven: A Real Wedding In The North East – Francesca & David

November 15th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Headlam Hall Wedding by Martin Castein

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One delectable Real Wedding (did you see yesterday’s glittering celebration at Oulton Hall?  Click here to catch up) deserves another.

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Today’s stunning wedding was sent to me by fabulous photographer Martin Castein, Brides Up North Featured Supplier (and all round amazing lady) the super chic Make Up By Jo – responsible for today’s beautiful wedding day look – and our lovely real bride Francesca.

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With every single detail of the day hand crafted by Francesca and David themselves, and a team of talented professionals to support their vision, the result was always going to be flawless. 

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North East Wedding by Martin Castein

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Francesca says:  At my parent’s house on Christmas day 2008. As I am an artist and designer David hid my engagement ring in the last box of presents. It was in a pencil case in a small crate full of creative things.  As I began to open the pencil case he told me that I needed to pass it to him, which I thought was a bit strange but I did, and then he took the box with the ring in it out of the pencil case, stood up, got down on one knee with my parents sitting there with us and asked me to marry him! To which obviously I answered yes straight away!

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Wedding in the North East by Martin Castein

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We were married on Saturday 19th August 2012.  Our marriage ceremony was at St John’s Church Egglescliffe and our reception was at Headlam Hall.

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We adore our local church, as well as being very beautiful, it is also very special to us as our son was christened there too.  We chose Headlam Hall after much searching for our perfect venue because it was so stunning, the perfect size and fulfilled everything that we were looking for.

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Martin Castein

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Martin Castein

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Our theme was ’vintage’ with a focus on florals and pearls.  Our colour theme was taken from some beautiful fabric that I found. We used it throughout the wedding. It consisted of sage green, off white, fawn, pale pinks with a teeny hint of pale lilac.

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My dress was champagne coloured, with a heavily embellished diamond and beaded bodice; lace up back also with the embellishments. It had a long rounded train also carrying the same embellished design. It was fitted down to the waist then it gently flowed over the hips into a full floor length skirt. My parents bought it for me from a shop in Northallerton when we went there for a visit on my birthday, I didn’t plan on buying anything that day let alone a wedding dress! But I did and it was the first thing that was purchased towards our wedding.

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Our bridesmaids wore pale lilac/pink iridescent full length organza dresses by Jim Hjelm which we bought from Truly Beautiful in Guisborough.

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I carried a large bouquet of pale pink roses and ranunculus, green guilder roses, pale lavender/pink, and cream hydrangeas and gypsophila. The bouquet had cream pearls on gold wire hanging from them with a crystal heart at the base of the stems.

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Our day was absolutely amazing, there were so many precious moments and we adored every second of it, but definitely actually saying our vows to each other and being pronounced man and wife for us was be the best bit.

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Our wedding wasn’t necessarily a conventional one as I made and did absolutely everything myself! My table runners, buttonholes, all the floral arrangements, wedding cakes, favours, invitations, order of service, table plan, bunting, all the wedding jewellery, the wedding ring pillow, pew decorations, even the flowers and bows for the car! Almost everything that you can see in the photographs I made. David even restored two 200 year old urns to put our flowers in, to go in front of the top table.

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My mum and I made a three tiered fruit cake made from my late grandmother’s recipe, which was covered in pale cream icing which had pink and cream striped cotton ribbon along the bottom of each tier which I had sewn pale pink pearls and pale green crystals onto all the way along. On the top was an arrangement of flowers that I made using some of the same flowers that were in my bouquet and some large pearls. We also had a ‘cutting’ cake made of vanilla sponge and filled with butter icing which was covered in pale pink icing with a quilted design with rose centre. David doesn’t like fruit cake so we decided to make two cakes as we anticipated that there would be others who would rather a slice of sponge instead of fruit.

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We had a vintage suitcase which I painted our initials onto the top of the lid to put all of our cards and gifts in from our guests; we now have all of our keepsakes in there packed away safely.  We also had a table with photographs of our loved ones that are no longer with us that we so wish could have been and who we wanted to remember.

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We had a very talented local young pianist called Georgie Lock playing whilst we had our meal and whilst the tea, coffee and truffles were being served in the stable lounge after the meal. The venue provided the DJ as part of hiring the venue.

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We didn’t want a wedding that was the same as anyone else’s or for our guests to sit and recognise where we had bought everything from, we wanted it to be entirely personal and handmade and the only way to do it was to do it entirely ourselves and make it all with love.

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David works away so we couldn’t go on honeymoon straight away as he had to go back to work shortly after the wedding but when he returned home again we went on a sort of honeymoon to a beautiful place called Fowey in Cornwall, we took our son with us too.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if you want your day to be perfect, to enjoy planning it and not have stress all the way through it, make sure that you plan well in advance.

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Book your wedding for at least a year in advance (ours was booked over two years in advance!) That way you can make sure that the date you want is yours for the picking rather than just choosing from the ones that are left. By booking things in plenty of time you can source things if they are out of stock and you can take advantage of sales too!

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Prioritise the things that are the most important, and that need to be booked first such as; venue, wedding dress, wedding rings, photographer (Martin Castein was absolutely amazing!) and invitations, that way if nothing else you can still have a wedding with guests!

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I made a spread sheet of all the things that I needed to buy and book too, I put down absolutely everything on it contact details for suppliers, order numbers, how much I had paid, how much deposit I had paid, how much was left still to pay and when it needed to be paid for. That way you have everything you need in one place to hand rather that sorting through reams of paperwork or not being able to find the details at all! It certainly made a difference as we could keep an on-going track of what we had spent and how much was left remaining.

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Martin Castein

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Congratulations Francesca & David!

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Would you like to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North? Just get in touch.

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Castein Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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She’s A Star! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Steph & Nathan

May 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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For me, Friday has always been a day of celebration – the end of the working week, the start of the weekend, a few cheeky drinks, a long lunch and a sneaky Crunchie.  Totally floats my boat.

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What better way to get the Friday feelings flowing than with a simply stunning real wedding sent to me by real bride Steph and Matt of Agan Photography.  This wedding has it all – fashion, fun and food. 

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And oh!  The fashion and the food… swoon.

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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Over to Steph: We got engaged on 10th August 2009 at Center Parcs Elvedon and were married on 10th September 2011 at The Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire.  The venue is filled with a quirky, rustic charm – and made an impression on us as soon as we walked in. The village setting is also lovely – and we already knew the food would be fantastic too, so it was a very easy choice!

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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We tried to keep everything simple, local and handmade if possible. All the food cooked at The Star is locally sourced and our evening menu was all from local suppliers in our home village (including a homemade wedding cake). The table decorations and favours were all handmade and the confetti was hand-dried petals donated from different friend’s and family’s gardens

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography  A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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I chose to wear Maxime in Azure by Ian Stuart Belle Epoque Collection from Blush in Uppermill. My head dress was by Vivien Sheriff and dyed to match.  I carried a bouquet of roses, calla lilies, gladioli, heather, elderberries, bear grass and lavender by Gerts Flowers in Honley. 

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My bridesmaids wore eggplant gowns by Jim Hjelm from Limelight Occasions in Lepton. 

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The boys wore suits from Marks and Spencer.

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The most memorable part of the whole day was definitely the wedding ceremony itself, walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time. The speeches were also a lot of fun.

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To add a special touch to the day we hosted an after dinner quiz with homemade chilli vodka as the grand prize. We also invested in some fun outdoor garden games (quoits, petanque and swing ball).  We created our own disco on the laptop with handpicked songs playing inside and outdoors!

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Dessert was a feast in itself – cheese cake (actual cheese of various kinds), pork pie cake and Mum’s fruitcake. 

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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After a brilliant wedding, we honeymooned in Las Vegas and Mexico.

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take time making all your decisions and give yourself plenty of time to make them. Try not to worry about small details on the day – nobody else will notice tiny things that might not be quite right in your eyes.

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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Congratulations Steph & Nathan!

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Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories with Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Agan Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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A Bridesmaid Rainbow: Red

March 26th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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On the lookout for bridesmaid frocks to suit your colour scheme?  Brides Up North is here to help! Up first, put your ladies in red…

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Click the image to go direct to the supplier’s website.  Easy peasy.

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Karen Millen Beaded Necklace DressKaren Millen, Beaded Necklace Dress, £210

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Debut Red Satin Ball Gown

Debut, Red Satin Ball Gown, £120 

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Coast Dacia DressCoast, Dacia Dress, £150

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Alfred Angelo 7126Alfred Angelo, style 7126, in Cherry 

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Reiss PeacockReiss, Peacock, £195

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BCGB Mariola

BCGB, Mariola, ask UK stockists for availability and price

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Jim Hjelm

Jim Hjelm, Style JH5083, ask UK stockists for availability and price

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Monsoon Mayne MaxiMonsoon Mayne Maxi, £180 

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.Whistles Gaby

Whistles, Gaby, SALE £65 

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DessyDessy, Alfred Sung, Style D486 

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This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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