Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

love hearts. caroline castigliano for a relaxed wedding at priory cottages – rebecca & david

February 13th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

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Rebecca & David’s relaxed wedding at the Priory Cottages was a family-friendly affair complete with bouncy castle, sharing dishes and stacks of sugary sweeties.

This laidback bride left some of her big decisions to the last minute and to fate – well, to trusted friends and suppliers. The result? Simply stunning.

The gorgeous Rebecca also has an eye for style – check out that dreamy Caroline Castigliano dress and jaw-dropping engagement ring. What can we say? Girl’s got style!

With images by Arabella Smith.

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rebecca says: David proposed in 2008 when I was heavily pregnant with our first child, we went for a ‘baby moon’ at Hotel du Vin in Harrogate. He presented me with a box full of Love Heart sweeties (my favourites!) and which all said ‘Marry Me’! Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy – but the engagement ring made up for it! David had a ring made that was just like one we’d seen in Cartier that was way out of budget! I loved it, I still love it – in fact, I still find myself staring at it sometimes!

We joke it was the world’s shortest engagement as the next day my fingers swelled so much I couldn’t wear the ring again until after I’d given birth.

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We picked 22nd October 2016 as our wedding date. Three children later, we decided we were ready to commit to organising a wedding. The date wasn’t significant; we were restricted on dates but we were really pleased with the idea of an autumn wedding. We didn’t want a summer wedding with any unrealistic expectations of nice weather and this was the week before schools broke up so we were all set to jet straight off on honeymoon.

Our ceremony was at All Saints Church, Wighill and our reception at Priory Cottages. We knew we wanted something relaxed and informal with lots of kids attending. I didn’t want to have to tell them to be quiet all the time and stop running around. I loved the idea of a barn, so we shortlisted a few within driving distance. The priory was the first David and I visited and, honestly, we knew when we pulled onto the gravel courtyard that this was the place for us. Needless to say, we didn’t even look at any other venues: the place is stunning. The staff are fantastic – I’m not the most organised of brides and they were really relaxed with me and so helpful when I needed it.

We both knew we wanted to get married in a church so the priory put us in contact with All Saints Church in Wighill. What a lovely bunch of people! We were treated like one of the congregation instantly and we definitely feel like we have a church we can call our own from now on.

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Theme-wise, we didn’t really have one – other than ‘family friendly’ and ‘fun’. With colours, we opted for navy and blush pinks – and then the groom threw a wild card in the week before the wedding when he turned up with a burgundy tie from Paul Smith. I had to ring the florist to tell her but she was thrilled: dark reds are her favourite coloured flowers!

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I bought my dress from Abbey Bridal Warehouse. I left it too late to go chose a dress from a luxury bridal shop and a few people had recommended Abbey Bridal. I picked about 15 and tried them all on but I knew there was only one contender for me. My criteria was ‘plain and simple’. No lace, no beads, no sequins and definitely no glitter. Actually, quite a difficult brief for a wedding dress. I saved the best till last: a Caroline Castigliano dress called Charm School. It had a sweetheart neckline and was floaty with a long train. So simple but it just felt amazing as soon as I put it on. I also wore a back necklace from Liberty in Love.

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when in rome. a sumptuous wedding at swinton park – victoria & matthew

November 23rd, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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For today’s real wedding, we’re getting swept away by the enchantment of Victoria and Matthew’s beautiful wedding set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

Combining the tradition of a church ceremony with the decadence of a castle, hotel and stately home for their celebrations – this is a wedding with class and sophistication in spades, and we simply adore every little detail from their special day!

With images by Andy Sutcliffe Photography.

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victoria says: Matthew proposed during a surprise break away to Rome, leaving me guessing right until check in at the airport as to where we were going. Little did I know that in the luggage that I’d been carting around, on and off trains and through the airport, there was an engagement ring.

The hotel in Rome had a balcony that overlooked the city and the view was incredible. Every day the hotel staff kept leaving bottles of champagne and strawberries in the room and I had no idea why. I just thought it was all part of their hospitality and even said that we should stay in this hotel more often, as I felt like a princess.

We visited many historical sights and enjoyed sightseeing around the city, including a visit to the Vatican. On the final evening, I was so exhausted from walking around that I suggested that we should stay at the hotel for a meal, but Matthew insisted that we should go out. When we arrived back at the hotel, the balcony had been lit up with candles and there was a large parcel wrapped up on the table with a bottle of champagne. I was very surprised and I thought Matthew was too. Matthew insisted I open the parcel. Initially I thought it was a gift from the hotel, because of all the surprises they kept sending to us each night. I carefully tore the paper and inside was a canvas with photographs of Matthew’s niece and nephews holding up signs reading, “Will you marry Uncle Matthew please?” At this point, Matthew got onto one knee and pulled a ring box from his pocket and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

A few days after we returned home, I received a postcard stamped from Vatican City. Matthew had sent me a postcard when we were in the Vatican City saying that by now he hopes that I am his fiancée and can’t wait to marry me. I didn’t even notice that he had done this and I was with him the whole time. This came as a great surprise. Just as well I said yes!

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We got married on 3rd August 2015. The ceremony took place at St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Richmond, North Yorkshire. We chose this church as it was fairly local to our reception venue – Swinton Park in Masham, North Yorkshire. Our local priest, Father Butters was able to conduct the ceremony too, which made it even more special.

We had a Roman Catholic ceremony with two readings. The first was from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, read by the mother of the groom and then then a reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians read by my godmother. We also had bidding prayers that were read by our eight-year-old nephew Louis, and my cousin Michelle.

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laidback love. a fun & rustic wedding at haslington hall – stevie & christopher

November 17th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is a feast for the eyes. There was a sumptuous naked cake, bucket loads of petal confetti and plenty of fun and frolics in the venue’s jaw-dropping grounds.

Flowers were key in creating the bride’s rustic theme and reflecting her outdoorsy lifestyle, with Stevie donning a floral crown and the couple exchanging vows below a stunning wildflower arch.

If you adore all things laidback and lovey-dovey, this one’s definitely for you.

Photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.

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stevie says: We got engaged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – our favourite place – in August 2014. Christopher woke me up on our last morning with my Grandma Betty’s engagement ring and both of us were in tears by the time he’d got to “Will you marry me?”

We arranged our wedding for 23rd July 2016. We wanted an outdoor wedding and hoped that July would do it weather-wise!

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Our venue was the beautiful Haslington Hall, in Crewe. We chose our venue as it was an enormous and totally gorgeous Tudor hall (Christopher is doing a history PhD), and it had a marquee which I wanted for the wedding breakfast, plus it had beautiful grounds too. What really swayed it was that the wedding coordinator at the time (Sian Hopwood) was extremely friendly and laid-back about all of our arrangements. She was enthusiastic about having an outdoor ceremony, coming up with a vegetarian menu with two options per course and possibly even involving my little horse, Galaxy.

Our theme was rustic, relaxed and fun – just like the two of us! We wanted a country-style wedding to match my horsey lifestyle with plenty of wildflowers but at the same time wanted to maximise the fun for our guests (we’re big children at heart) with a sweetie table, photo booth and plenty of games, including space hoppers (adult and child-sized), bubbles, wind-up toys and lots of outdoor games.

Our colour scheme of pastel tones was rustic-inspired. We weren’t particularly fussed about specific shades as long as they were natural – the more varied the better!

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I always wanted to look like a princess on my wedding day with classic lace and sparkles but didn’t want to pay an extortionate price for a custom-made dress. After trying on all sorts of gowns from slinky, tight-fitting numbers to full-on ball gowns all over the country we found a bridal outlet shop two streets away from us, The Wedding Dress & Prom Dress Outlet, Stockport. I settled on a gorgeous ivory A-line gown that was everything I wanted; it even drew a genuine ‘wow’ from one of my maids of honour. This was paired with an absolutely stunning pastel wildflower crown from Flowers by Briege and a cathedral length veil with small lace/sparkle appliques from Boutique Alterations, where I had my dress fitted. I bought some beautiful ivory heels with pearl ankle ties from Amazon for the day and some squashy ivory slippers from John Lewis for the evening – this turned out to be a very good idea indeed!

Sarah Meredith was my incredible hair and makeup artist on the day of the wedding. She understood that my bridesmaids and I wanted a natural look and made us feel so relaxed on the morning of the big day. She was extremely creative, even weaving leftover flowers into the bridesmaids’ hair.

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To fit our country theme, Christopher bought a beautiful dark blue Ted Baker tweed suit from Slaters, Manchester, teaming it with a pastel blue cravat and brown shoes.

We let the bridesmaids and groomsmen have free reign over their outfits and choose any colour or style they wanted. My four bridesmaids settled on three different shades/styles of pastel blue dresses and a very dapper black suit and blue shirt for the fourth bridesmaid, Emily. She had the most awesome blue and grey brogues too!

Our groomsmen wore different shades blue and grey, all with a pastel blue tie or cravat.  The groomsmen also wore different superhero cufflinks as the heroes of the day.

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white lace. a winter wedding in york – stacey & alex

October 4th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Have we mentioned that we love all things Christmas? So with less than 12 weeks to go until Santa visits us once again we thought it was high time for another festive themed big day on the blog.

Taking place in the charming city of York, we adore how Alex and Stacey’s stylish wedding gives subtle nods to the season without a single piece of tinsel in sight!

We’re also big fans of the atmospheric venue and choice of simple white blooms and cake. The star of the show for us though just has to be Stacey’s gorgeous bespoke, lace detailed dress, complete with floor-length veil and glamorous red lips. Pure perfection!

With images by Photography34.

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stacey says: We got engaged on the beach at Alnmouth, in Northumberland. We’d been staying in a cottage nearby and had gone out for a walk when Alex asked the question. It was 5th November in 2014, and a really crisp cold day with blue skies and very few people around.

We set our wedding date for 28th November 2015, as we liked the idea of getting married in the same month that we got engaged.

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Our chosen venue was Merchant Taylors Hall, in York. We live in York and wanted somewhere central that our friends and family could easily travel to. We looked around several venues and loved this one. The beamed ceilings and open fire seemed to be perfect for a winter wedding. The layout of the hall was also great for the number of guests we wanted and allowed us to have both the ceremony and reception all in the same place.

We initially didn’t really have a theme to the wedding but then we discovered that the week we were marrying would be when the Christmas tree would be put up in the Merchant Taylors Hall. We therefore decided to with a bit of a festive feel, adding lights in the hall and having Christmas crackers as favours.

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We didn’t set out to have any specific colour scheme either, at first kept it simple with everything in white. However, we then decided on a deep blue/purple colour for the bridesmaid dresses and so incorporated that hue into the wedding and matched the ties, invitations and table names.

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pretty in pink. a rustic vintage wedding in the north west – johanna & drew

July 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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To bring your week to a pretty close we’re featuring the lovely North West wedding day of Johanna and Drew.

Following a traditional church service, the bride, groom and their guests moved onto The Shireburn Arms for a relaxed and intimate reception, complete with rustic vintage wedding décor.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.

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johanna says: We got engaged in York on 25th January 2014. Drew proposed on a bridge overlooking the city at night, it was very romantic. We set the date for Saturday 25th July 2015 – exactly 18 months to the day that we got engaged.

Our chosen venue was The Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green, Clitheroe, as we felt that it was fitting to our personalities and would feel more intimate for us and our guests.

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We wanted the day to be fun and for our guests to feel relaxed, and so we choose a rustic vintage theme for the wedding, which allowed us to put our own unique touches on the day. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such, though our bridesmaids and groomsmen wore a blush pink tone, which fitted in the summery time of year.

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festival wedding chic. watters for a fun celebration in manchester – sally & dan

June 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Following on from our hugely successful WEDSTOCK’16 and WESTIVAL’16 events this season, we just love to see couples planning celebrations with relaxed yet enjoyable festival wedding vibes, incorporating bright colours, vibrant decor and cool live music.

Today’s wedding is therefore right up our street, as bride and groom Sally and Dan based their big day on their love of music festivals; picking a bold colour scheme (and a dash of Coronation Street fun!) to reflect their upbeat theme and the warm summer season.

Taking place at Manchester’s Great John Street hotel, this is the perfect example of how to make ‘festival’ stylish and chic…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.

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sally says: Dan proposed to me at home after returning from a business trip to South Africa – it was a real shock. Even though we had been together for 12 years, getting married had never been top of our agenda. Dan knows I’m not one for lots of attention, so it was the perfect way to propose, just us two. After much deliberating Dan had decided to choose the engagement ring himself – it’s a beautiful classic Tiffany solitaire and fitted perfectly, much to his relief!

We set the date for 11th July 2015 in the hope that we may see some sun! As football fans, we also didn’t want a date that may clash with any important fixtures.

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We decided on a church ceremony, followed by a reception at the Great John Street hotel in Manchester city centre. Prior to looking at wedding venues we hadn’t heard of the hotel but several people had mentioned it to us when looking, and what a hidden gem the hotel turned out to be! The hotel is an old Victorian school house which has been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel. The interior design of the hotel is stunning and boasts a south facing roof terrace, making it the perfect venue to host a party. We both love the city centre of Manchester and wanted this to be reflected in our day. This intimate venue enabled us to do this, with views looking out over the iconic Beetham Tower, and the old cobbles of the original Coronation Street set.

One of our shared passions is attending music festivals so we wanted this to be included in our day. We therefore incorporated a few things which resonated with this theme, such as the wedding stationery, flowers and camper vans.

A Festival Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (40)

Royal blue and yellow were the main colours for our colour scheme as we wanted vibrant summer colours which would go well with the festival style elements of the day that we had chosen.

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