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!
May 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We may be supposed to be heading into high summer right now (although as I’m writing this there is hail beating on the window outside) but here at Brides Up North HQ just the very sight of a winter wedding makes us dream of mulled wine and mince pies, getting us excited about the chillier months to come.
If you’re in the middle of planning your Christmas wedding, Rachel and Gareth’s seasonal celebration has it all – stunning wreaths complete with red berries and mistletoe, warm comforting food and a classic red colour scheme.
So forget about the (lack of) sunshine – an easy ask for us northerners – wrap up warm and let’s head to the stunning Peak District to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.
With images by Richmond Pictures.
rachel says: We got engaged in London. We had given a voucher for a meal for two in the Apex Hotel at Tower Bridge as a Christmas present. We booked the meal for 8th February 2014 and decided to make a night of it by booking a room there too. Gareth proposed in the hotel room as we were getting ready to go down to dinner. It was a bit of a shock but I couldn’t have been happier!
We got married on 13th December 2014. We both really wanted a winter wedding, there’s something romantic about that time of the year and the run up to Christmas. The crisp, frosty days and (hopefully) blue skies outside while we cosy up inside, perfect!
We got married at Fulwood Old Chapel in Sheffield. We picked this as we wanted to get married somewhere close to where I was brought up. The chapel is small and intimate so it was perfect for our numbers and we felt it would be nice to have our family and friends fill the whole place and really feel like a part of the ceremony.
Our reception was held at The Maynard in Grindleford, Derbyshire. We went to a wedding fair there and knew straight away it was the perfect venue for us. There are stunning views from the rooms looking out across the Peak District.
As it was coming up to Christmas we played a little on that and had a snowflake theme. We had snowflake Christmas tree decorations as wedding favours, the cake was decorated with snowflakes and our stationery and table confetti was snowflake themed too.
We picked red and silver for our colours. Again because of the time of the year. The bridesmaids had red dresses which looked stunning and vibrant in the winter light.
I chose a dress by Ronald Joyce from Brides by Losners in Stamford Hill, London. I picked this one because my mum and my bridesmaid cried when I put it on – so I was pretty sure this was the dress for me! It was the complete opposite of what I’d imagined for myself as it was quite fitted, but I loved it from the first time I tried it on.
On the wedding day my makeup was done by Lisa Kirby in Sheffield and my hair was styled by Kirstine Allott of Kutz in Dore, Sheffield, both of whom I would recommend.
I travelled from my parents’ house with my dad in a vintage Jaguar while my bridesmaids travelled to the chapel in another vintage jaguar. These were provided by a family friend.
Karina and Tom Lax of Richmond Pictures were our photographers. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. They were so professional but also fun and friendly and made us feel totally at ease throughout the whole day. Karina and Tom really did their homework before our big day and found an amazing place for us to have some pictures taken after the ceremony; it was like something out of Wuthering Heights! We are absolutely over the moon with our photos, a perfect reminder of our special day for us to look back on.
Our flowers were provided by Vikki Baxter at Jo Price Flowers in Sheffield. I had a bouquet of red roses, mistletoe, red berries and Christmas tree twigs.
Vikki also provided the flowers for the chapel and reception. We had a heart shaped wreath above the door at the Chapel and arrangements around the inside with the same flowers and foliage as the bridal bouquet and also cinnamon sticks, orange slices and nuts to make it really Christmassy. We also had Christmas wreath style table centre pieces around hurricane lamps, lots of tea lights and a twinkle curtain as a back drop behind the top table, which were provided by Weddings by Dragonfly.
My mum, my bridesmaid and I made snowflake Christmas tree decorations as wedding favours using snowflake wire form beads and ribbon. These also doubled as place names as we threaded name tags on the ribbon with our guests’ names on one side and our names and the date on the reverse.
We chose a three tiered cake iced in white and decorated with snowflakes. Each layer was different flavour – vanilla sponge, chocolate sponge and a fruit cake. The fruit cake was made by my mum and the rest by a family friend.
For our wedding menu we picked winter warming food – chicken with bubble and squeak and a sticky toffee pudding dessert. We had champagne for our toasts so we could celebrate in style!
We really wanted our guests to have a great time and leave thinking ‘wow’ so we hired a magician for the drinks reception and a photo booth for the evening reception, provided by Rhythm of Your Choice. My parents also booked some singing waiters who performed during the meal. This was a complete to surprise to the both of us and also to all our guests. One of the waitresses dropped a whole tray of cutlery which got everyone’s attention, and then started singing ‘Let it go’ from Frozen as she got up from the floor! It was such a shock but soon everyone was joining in, dancing and waving napkins in the air! We had a band in the evening called Banzai and a DJ provided by Rhythm of Your Choice.
We would recommend both the chapel and The Maynard to other couples. Janet and Peter at the chapel were so friendly and helpful from the minute we booked our ceremony with them. It’s perfect for smaller weddings. I would recommend The Maynard for its setting. There are so many beautiful places for photos and stunning views from the venue. The food, drink and service on the day were all excellent.
The ceremony itself was our favourite part of the day. Having all our family and friends in one place at the same time who were all there to support us and celebrate with us was so touching.
We went to Kuramathi Island Resort in the Maldives for our two week honeymoon. We had a month between our wedding and honeymoon so we could enjoy Christmas at home with our families. The resort was fantastic and just what we wanted. White sandy beaches, beautiful blue seas, excellent food and drink, and stunning sea life on the house reef where we went snorkelling every day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the day! Look around and see all your friends and family who are there for you.
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