February 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When you think of a destination wedding, a sandy beach and an epic sunset usually spring to mind. You know – somewhere hot. But actually, if you live halfway across in the world in San Diego, where could be better for a destination choice than a magnificent castle wedding in bonny Scotland?
Today’s feature couple, Ellen and Ryan, thought just that, enticing 62 guests across the pond to Edinburgh to laird it up at the beautiful Dalhousie Castle. There they laid on Highland Games and fireworks, live entertainment, and surprised guests with a rather unusual ring bearer.
We just love Ellen’s beautiful Watters gown, perfect for swishing around the dancefloor as she desired; and my word, that’s some serious #girlsquad she has – do we count nine beautiful bridesmaids!?!
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
ellen says: We are from San Diego, USA, and we had our first date at Balboa Park, a collective of many different museums, galleries, restaurants and gardens. My favourite place in Balboa Park is the Botanical Garden, so Ryan knew he wanted to propose there. He is known for his off-the-wall ‘what if’ jokes. So, as we strolled through the Botanical Garden, Ryan noted that the building was 100-years-old. He asked me, “What if this building collapsed on us?” Following my eye roll, he then asked, “Or, what if I said I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life?”
Ryan proposed with a family heirloom diamond. His mom had a ring with three diamonds that was passed down to her. Ryan received one of the diamonds from the ring and designed a ring to match our relationship. Ryan knew I would want friends and family to share in the joy of the engagement. So, after the obvious kissing and reply of “absolutely yes!”, he took me to the rooftop of a building where our friends and family were waiting to congratulate us.
We got married on 22nd June 2017. I’m a teacher and, in order to have a destination wedding, we knew we’d need to get married over summer. So, we picked the earliest summer date that allowed us and our guests to get overseas. We knew that, if we were going to get married abroad, we wanted to do so in a place that was different from anywhere we could get married in the USA. Ryan presented me with the idea of getting married in a castle and we found a castle that could house all of the guests overnight, that was close to an airport and that we loved! Dalhousie Castle fit all the bills and we would absolutely recommend it! The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, and the food and venue were amazing. Our friends and family left our wedding saying it was the best wedding they had ever attended. Our venue was perfect!
We didn’t have a theme, other than ‘Scottish Castle’, which for us was pretty unique. We had a company come and do the Highland Games with our guests, which helped acclimatise everybody to Scottish culture.
We chose purple and grey colour scheme, simply because we really like these colours.
We travelled to Edinburgh a few days before the wedding and stayed at the castle the night before everybody arrived. We hired a bus company, Ladywell Travel, to transport our guests from Edinburgh to the castle.
February 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
We love a good love story here at Brides Up North and today’s couple, Amy and Mostafa, prove that a long-distance relationship can indeed lead to that happily ever after moment down the aisle.
After five years together doing the long-distance thing, Amy had finally joined Mostafa over in Dubai. But when it came to tying the knot, Amy yearned to return to her native North East for their special day. And we’re glad they did! The couple got married last autumn at As You Like It, a quirky urban venue in Newcastle.
Trying to plan the wedding while overseas was a tricky process for the couple (cue lots of conversations with their suppliers via Skype!) but like any good story, it all came together seamlessly in the end.
A literary theme snuck in, as well as a nod to Mostafa’s Egyptian heritage. There are lots of other beautiful and personal touches to look out for too (just wait until you see those flowers!) but we’ll let Amy talk us through all the finer details…
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
amy says: Mostafa proposed during the sunset one evening while we were in Abu Dhabi. I was hurrying to get a good view of the presidential palace to take some pictures, and when I turned around he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand. It was a total surprise!
We got married on 8th September 2017. Mostafa is from Egypt and we both live together in Dubai, so we have friends and family all over the world. September seemed like a perfect month for as many of our guests as possible to attend and we hoped the summer would hang on enough for us to get a nice day for them – which it did!
Living abroad, it was really important for me to come back to the North East to get married. We got married at As You Like It in Jesmond. I chose the venue without Mostafa as he was in Dubai and I was in UK at the time. I called, begging him to let me book it after going to a wedding fair with my mum and absolutely falling in love with it. Thankfully he trusted me and when he saw it a year later, he loved it just as much as I did.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but I’m a bit of a book nerd so we had a literary theme with the table names and centerpieces, which went down really well with the guests. Since Mostafa is Egyptian, we decided to play some Arabic music during the ceremony and chose one of our favourite romantic ballads by Amr Diab.
Our colour scheme was a gorgeous blue as it has always been my favourite colour and seemed to match so well with the venue. I also wanted to honour my granddad who had the most bright blue eyes, so the colour scheme was special in that way too. I kept a small picture of him tied around my flowers to feel like he was with me on such a big day.
My dress was by Art Couture bridal and I bought it at Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. I had pointed it out to my mum as we entered the shop, but she said she didn’t like it, so I tried on other dresses without any success. Tired and hungry, we were about to leave but I decided to try on the first dress I’d seen, to satisfy my curiosity. As soon as I put it on – I knew it was the one, and my mum agreed!
Mostafa wore a grey suit and waistcoat from Debenhams, and the groomsmen wore the same. The ties were handmade using one of the bridesmaid dresses by Ohh Sew Beautiful and Make N Mend as I wanted the colour to match perfectly.
December 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
The weekend is upon us and we’re super excited as December 1st signals the beginning of the festive season (to us anyway!) so this weekend we have seasonal soirees, mulled wine drinking and tree decorating on the agenda. But before we hurry off to find our fairy lights and baubles, we’re sharing this classic barn wedding that’s brimming with all the charm!
Josie and Romin tied the knot at The Ashes Barns earlier this year, the perfect backdrop for their relaxed rustic themed wedding, complete with exposed stone walls, beams and bunting galore. Their stunning photographs capture precious moments from their special day, from their bridesmaids donning some rather fetching wellies, to the couple meandering through pretty pastures with friendly cattle in tow.
What perhaps makes these images extra special though is that they were taken by the groom’s brother, professional photographer John of JPR Shah Photography. At first unsure whether to capture this special family day himself or totally immerse himself in the celebrations, John tells us that he decided he could do both…
john says: When my little brother announced his engagement to Josie, I was genuinely thrilled, but I was also a bit torn – I really wanted to attend and be present without a lens for his big day, but I also really, really wanted to capture his wedding memories for him, which in itself, is a privilege. When I suggested it to them, they both had similar concerns – they didn’t want me ‘working’ during their celebrations, but they also said I was the only person they’d want to photograph their day. That settled it for me, I was going to shoot their day and the photography would be a wedding present from me! I really needn’t have worried! The photographer holds a very unique position on the wedding day – I witnessed everything from the best seat in the house, and spent more time with them than any other guest, and capturing their love on camera was such a joyous thing for me. Without sounding cheesy, it was a genuine honour and an absolute pleasure to shoot their day for them. I laughed, cried, danced, and even gave a speech, and after the first dance, I was partying away with a prosecco in my hand!
So, in John’s case, he could have the wedding cake, and eat it! Bride Josie tells us more about the day…
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
josie says: We went to Manchester for a few days to see The Lion King. In the evening, we got ready and went out for an amazing Italian meal before going to the show. We went back to the bar at our hotel – Rom disappeared and then came back and we went to our penthouse suite (we were upgraded as Rom had told the staff what he was planning to do). We went up to our room and as I opened the door there were candles all over the table, champagne and my favourite music playing. At this point I had no idea what was about to happen – I turned around and Rom took my hands (he was shaking like a leaf!). He got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so shocked I think it took me about five minutes to respond! I said yes, of course. We then went out and celebrated in the Hilton with some cocktails.
We got married on the 4th May 2017 – we brought our wedding forward from the September.
We got married at The Ashes Barns, Staffordshire – we had our wedding in the West Barn and the reception in the East Barn. We chose this venue as we really wanted a barn wedding to give us that rustic, relaxed feeling to our day. The Ashes team were absolutely fabulous when we looked round and we felt confident that we’d be able to have everything we wanted for our day.
Our theme was just a country, rustic feel with lots of flowers – including bridesmaids in wellies!
We initially wanted a sage colour theme to match the tones around the barns, however, as we had so many flowers it became more multi-coloured!
October 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If a woodland wedding setting is the stuff of your dreams, then you’re in for a real treat, as today’s newlyweds, Zara and Mike, tied the knot in June of this year in the beautiful Lake District.
Their photographer, J.P.R Shah Photography, knew how to capture this breathtaking backdrop just perfectly, with gorgeous shots amidst the leafy trees and – one of our personal favourites – onboard a rowing boat. Could this be any more romantic?
What also sets this wedding apart is its intimate size, with only 25 close family and friends – and this includes the bride and groom. Doing things differently – there were no bridesmaids either. Other special touches that we just love include shots of homemade raspberry liquor for all the guests and Swedish massages for all the ladies on the day. Wedded bliss all-round!
With images by J.P.R Shah Photography.
zara says: We got engaged at home. I had recently given birth to our son and after a very difficult pregnancy and labour, Mike said to me that as he couldn’t take me out for a meal (due to our new baby) that he was going to cook me a three-course meal instead, but I had to get dressed up as though we were going out. He even provided alcohol-free champagne. He made a playlist of all my favourite songs and really did wine and dine me. He waited until my favourite song at the time Kodaline The One came on and at that point he got down on one knee and presented me with the ring box and asked me to marry him.
We got married on 1st June 2017. The start of June tends to have lovely weather, which was ideal as we wanted an outdoor wedding. It was also exactly two years from the day we had first visited our wedding venue of choice.
We tied the knot and held the reception at The Gilpin Lake House, just outside Windermere. Mike and I only ever looked at one wedding venue and we instantly fell in love. Not only was the venue one of the most amazing hotels, but the grounds were beautiful, the scenery was amazing and the lake was simply stunning too. This is even before mentioning the swimming pool, two hot tubs and the sauna that we had exclusive use of for our time there! As a special surprise we treated all the female guests to a full body Swedish massage.
Mike and I both have large families, so we decided that we wanted a very small wedding with immediate friends and family; a grand total of 25 people.
We had exclusive use of the lake house, so we arrived on the Wednesday and tied the knot on the Thursday. All our friends and family left on the Friday, but Mike and I stayed the extra night for a minimoon.
We didn’t have a theme, but we wanted everyone to be as relaxed as possible. Our guests were told to bring swimwear as once the wedding was complete, meals eaten and speeches done, we wanted our guests to enjoy themselves, as though they were on an actual holiday themselves.
I chose a lilac and pink colour scheme. These are my favourite colours and I chose the flowers for my bouquet before I did anything else. I wanted roses as they are my birth flower, along with lavender as it has such a stand out smell. Now every time I smell lavender I am reminded of my wedding day.
December 12th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
Following a picture-perfect proposal in New York city, today’s couple Caitlin and Mark tied the knot at the Grade I listed Capheaton Hall in Northumberland. This is a truly stunning venue, complete with parkland and landscaped gardens, and as you will see, the couple really made the most of this backdrop in their beautiful wedding photography.
With a nod to Caitlin’s birthplace of South Africa, their special day brought together fantastical outdoor tipis, toasted marshmallows, a hearty barbecue and the perfect cake topper for fans of Disney – but we’ll let the couple tell you all the wonderful details…
With images by JPRShah Photography.
mark says: We got engaged in New York, in Central Park in a section called Shakespeare’s Garden. Caitlin surprised me with tickets to New York for Valentine’s Day in 2014. I knew there and then that Caitlin was the girl I wanted to marry. We ended up missing Valentine’s Day due to delayed flights. Caitlin was so sad but I kept telling her it would get better. On 15th February I took her to Central Park. I felt nervous but excited at the same time.
caitlin says: It was snowing so much that day! We had been walking around Central Park for a while and I couldn’t understand what he was looking for! We got to Shakespeare’s Garden and the view was beautiful! Mark pulled me close and started saying all these lovely things to me. I had turned to look at the view and when I looked back at Mark, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! My first response was, “are you serious?” as I couldn’t believe it! Of course, I said “yes”, but I think I had him second guessing for a moment!
We got married on 16th July 2016. We knew we wanted to get married in July as Mark’s birthday is in June and mine is in August, plus it was easier for our family members due to their jobs.
We tied the knot at Capheaton Hall – a romantic venue that’s full of history and culture. A lot of people have never heard of Capheaton Hall so that made it stand out, too. The venue only takes a handful of wedding bookings each year so we felt very lucky to secure a date with them. It’s very secluded and has beautiful views, which was perfect as we hosted our ceremony outside.
Our wedding style was a combination of romantic, elegant, African and Disney. Mark and I both wanted a very elegant wedding, however we wanted to add our own touches too. I was born in South Africa so I really wanted a part of home with me on the day so we hired two giant tipis for the night time reception and a South African company provided the food. I don’t think Disney needs an explanation – everybody loves Disney!
The colour scheme was blush. I just fell in love with the colour while looking for bridesmaid dresses. It’s a very romantic colour and it was very ‘in’ this season.
My mum bought my dress from Mia Sposa Bridal in Newcastle city centre. I had originally chosen a fitted mermaid style dress, however after trying on about a million dresses (we’ve all done it) I fell in love with the stunning Pronovias Dagen gown. It was a tulle princess dress with lace appliqués, a draped tulle bodice, sweetheart neckline and a grosgrain belt with gemstone embroidery appliqué in the centre. It was the perfect Disney fairytale dress.
My bridal makeup was done by Jenny Daglish. She was the only makeup artist to actually listen to what I wanted and understand my skin type.
November 3rd, 2016 | Emma Davis
This afternoon on the blog we’re sharing the bright and beautiful pre-wedding shoot of soon-to-be husband and wife, Selina and Hiren.
After a romantic proposal in The Big Apple, Selina and Hiren planned an engagement party back at home to celebrate with their family and friends, and thought this would be an excellent opportunity for their pre-wedding shoot.
We love the stunning portrait images of just the two of them prior to the party but also the lively celebrations that followed.
Images by JPR Shah Photography.
selina says: We got engaged in New York on top of the Empire State Building on New Year’s Day. We spent the day walking through Central Park, shopping in Greenwich Village then ice skating in the evening and ending the night on top of the Empire State Building. It was a complete surprise as was the trip to New York!
We plan to marry on the 30th December 2016. Our traditional Indian wedding date is yet to be confirmed.
We first met through mutual friends at a pub. We went for some drinks and as we both felt the spark we decided to go for a meal in Preston. Looking back now we both believe it was love from the start!
I really knew Hiren was ‘the one’ when I moved away from home for work, which was only a couple of months after being together, and I counted down the days until I could see him again. I absolutely love how caring, thoughtful and wonderful Hiren is, and he’s always able to put a smile on my face.
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