November 8th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
The moment a father glimpses his baby girl in her wedding dress about to embark on the biggest day of her life is particularly special – perhaps it’s only at this moment that he realises his girl is a baby no longer. For Laura, today’s featured bride, this split-second was one of her most favourite moments of the day. Tears a-plenty. Forget the details and dress, sometimes it’s these freeze-framed flashes in time that produce the strongest memories to remind us what’s really important. Love is all you need, after all.
OK, so of course we’re not really going to forget the dress or details. What do you take us for? We can’t get enough of those special touches that make your weddings all about you, and Laura and Tom certainly didn’t disappoint with their endless metres of handmade hessian bunting – some featuring photographs of friends and family, homebrewed gin to tickle the guests’ taste buds, romantic quotes to inspire the guests during dinner, and a roulette table for those who like to take a gamble – and where else would you be invited to ‘pimp your prosecco’? Don’t mind if I do!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
laura says: The day we got engaged, Tom and I were moving into our new home. I was making Tom do the obligatory selfie outside the sold sign and, next thing I knew, he was down on one knee outside our dream home with the most perfect engagement ring asking me to marry him. Once I said “yes”, there were builders clapping and cheering from the other side of the estate!
Our wedding date was 21st July 2017. We always wanted to get married in the summer in the hope the weather would be good. A friend of a friend raved about their wedding at The Coniston Hotel, in Skipton, and, when we compared it to three other venues, we both loved how “us” The Coniston was; it felt so relaxed and romantic and we loved how the wedding area felt very private from the rest of the hotel. The views over the lake are incredible, so we knew (whatever the weather!) that wedding pictures by the lake would be amazing.
The Coniston was everything we wanted in a venue; everything we asked Sophie and Sharon, the wedding co-ordinators, to do was never too much trouble; they really seemed to understand what type of wedding we wanted. Everything went perfectly on the day and that was largely down to Sophie co-ordinating every aspect. We were never without a drink in our hands and all our guests felt so very well looked after. We couldn’t recommend The Coniston enough.
We didn’t have a specific theme for the day – more of a vintage style. We love the look of lace and hessian together – we’d used these materials for our save the date and wedding invitations – and we included some pastel peach colours to complement the look. We also had an inordinate amount of hessian bunting! Tom’s mum is extremely crafty and wonderful at bringing ideas to life; she made a very impressive 180m of bunting: 120m of it were incorporated into the ceiling drapes in the wedding breakfast room and the rest were dotted around the venue with lovely hand-painted lettering. We also had quite a lot of wood involved, with wooden slices for the table decorations and wooden stands for scented candles throughout the venue.
For my dress, I visited Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, and instantly knew I wanted to get my dress from there; it’s so beautiful inside the shop and all the girls working there are great. I tried on a Justin Alexander dress that I just knew was perfect: Bardot-style with beautiful beading, nipped in at the waist with a very floaty skirt and long train. It sounds really clichêd but I knew when I tried it on it was the dress I wanted to marry Tom in.
September 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
B-e-a-utiful is how we would sum up the gorgeous real wedding that we’re sharing with you on the blog today.
With no set theme to fuss around, bride Jen built her and Rich’s big day around her favourite colour (blue) with lots of blossoming blooms and foliage to enhance their already stunning choice of venue.
We love the relaxed simplicity to this wedding – from Jen’s slimline lace detailed gown to the flowing bridesmaid dresses and delicate cake table, all of which results in a classic and timeless celebration.
With images by Helen King Photography.
jen says: We got engaged in Venice. Rich organised a surprise trip and popped the question on our final night in Venice when walking back to our hotel through St Mark’s Square.
We set the date for 28th May 2016. The wedding fell on the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. It also happens to be my dad’s birthday. May is a beautiful month to get married in with decent weather and lots of green on the trees!
Our ceremony was at Thornton Dale church followed by a reception at The Orangery in Settrington. The church is very special to Rich’s family. His grandfather was the church warden there for 20 years and is buried there along with Rich’s grandmother. It is also close to where my mum lives.
We didn’t have a theme for the wedding, we just wanted it to be elegant and traditional.
I chose blue as the main colour scheme as it is my favourite colour! The bridesmaids looked beautiful in their cornflower blue dresses.
I wore an ivory Justin Alexander gown, which I purchased from The Wedding Room in Scarborough. I liked the simplicity of the gown and the satin waist band, which was really flattering. I wore the dress with a long cathedral-length veil.
Catherine Elizabeth did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup on the wedding day. She did a great job and the makeup lasted well the whole day.
Rich wore his military uniform for the ceremony and then changed into a morning suit for the reception.
Helen King captured our day and we definitely recommend her to others. She is a brilliant photographer and made us very relaxed on the day and for our engagement shoot. Helen is lovely to work with and she felt like a friend attending the wedding.
August 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Real bride Gabrielle said that she and beau Dan didn’t really have a theme in mind for their summer wedding at Singleton Lodge: “We just wanted a romantic country-style wedding with beautiful flowers and lots of special touches,” she says. The result is a day that’s effortlessly beautiful, with romance pouring from every stunning image. Bravo, guys!
This gorgeous day captivated us from the Rockerfeller Christmas Tree proposal, had us green with envy at the silver Jimmy Choos and the special touches almost had us on our knees – as an official ‘dog person’, the mention of Spencer the Labrador’s photograph in the order of service along a ‘My Humans Are Getting Married’ message brought me closer to tears than I’d like to admit. All. The. Cuteness.
With images by Jessica Lang Photography.
gabrielle says: We got engaged on the 12th December 2014 in New York. I love Christmas and had always wanted to go to NYC in December and see the Rockerfeller Christmas Tree. On the second day of our trip we went on a 12-hour tour seeing all the sites, including the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. Afterwards, we went to an amazing restaurant and to a sky bar overlooking the Empire State Building. Dan said we should do something Christmassy before heading back to the hotel, so we went to see the legendary Rockerfeller Christmas tree – which is where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We also bought a replica of the Swarovski star which was the perfect memento of the most amazing day.
We were married on Friday 1st July 2016. We wanted a summer wedding on a Friday and, luckily, it was the last Friday that our venue had available.
Our ceremony was held at St Nicholas’ Church in Wrea Green, Lancashire, which is in the village where we live. It’s a beautiful church right in the centre of the village and it’s lovely that we walk past it every day with our dog. Our wedding date was the day before the village field day and so there was bunting everywhere which was lovely!
The reception was held at Singleton Lodge Country House. We knew we wanted to get married in a country house style venue with beautiful surroundings and Singleton Lodge was absolutely perfect. From the first glimpse of the driveway, we knew it was going to be the right venue for us. We had exclusive use of the whole lodge, the decor was beautiful and it has a lovely welcoming feel – there’s even a field of alpacas within the grounds, which we absolutely loved!
Theme-wise, we didn’t really want anything too elaborate. We just wanted a romantic country-style wedding with beautiful flowers and lots of special touches. We also went for blush pink accents as they suited the romantic theme.
My dress was by Justin Alexander and I bought it from The White Gallery in Ramsbottom. It was strapless with a long train and lots of beautiful embellishment. I wore it with a thin diamante belt around the waist, a chapel length veil with lace detailing and silver Jimmy Choo shoes. I absolutely loved my dress from the moment I tried it on – I just wish I could wear it again!
Dan wore a navy suit from Swarbricks with pale grey check waist coat with pale blue running through it. He teamed it with a pale blue tie, matching pocket square and a pocket watch, which I had engraved with the words “Forever & Always, 1st July 2016”. The groomsmen wore matching three-piece navy suits with blush pink ties and pocket squares.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length blush pink dresses from House of Fraser. They had a scoop back and diamante detail at the waist.
June 9th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
History runs deep for today’s newlyweds, Laura and Richard, who tied the knot earlier this spring. The couple met at Hampton Court Palace, where their romance and shared passion for books and the past, flourished over time.
So, it comes as no surprise that the pair looked to the National Trust when searching for their perfect wedding venue – instantly falling in love with the charming Quarry Bank, a working mill that dates back to the 1780s.
We think you’re going to be swept away by the personal touches to their big day, including their cute wooden peg cake toppers and second-hand-library-come-favours, which we think is an inspired idea!
With images by Kate Gosney Photography
laura says: We got engaged on 7th April 2016. It’s a tradition between us to have an Easter egg hunt each year, but we hadn’t managed one last Easter. I woke up to a cryptic text message leading me on a treasure hunt around our flat, and just presumed it was a belated egg hunt. When the final clue led to a ring rather than a Lindt bunny, my immediate reaction was one of complete bewilderment, followed by shock. It actually took me over a minute to say yes, during which time Richard worried that he’d seriously misjudged the direction of our five-year relationship. Eventually I calmed down and we proceeded to have a wonderful day, ending with a wonderful dinner up the Oxo Tower, overlooking the Thames.
We got married on 8th April 2017, a year and a day after getting engaged. We both really like spring and it suited both of our work schedules. The other option had been the 1st April, but we worried people might think it was just a joke and not bother turning up!
We got married at St John’s Church Lindow, near Wilmslow, which is the church my mum attends. The vicar has known me for 20 years, which made the service particularly special and personal. He even managed to find a picture of me aged eight to project onto a big screen, much to my embarrassment (and everyone else’s amusement).
The reception was held at Quarry Bank Mill, a few miles away in Styal. We’re both history geeks, so National Trust properties were an obvious place to start looking for a reception venue. Quarry was the first venue we visited and we fell in love with it. The gardens are beautiful, the building is majestic, and the sheer size of the two function rooms was really appealing. On top of that, it wasn’t too expensive.
We didn’t have a particular theme in mind, but as we started planning, it became clear that we wanted the day to have an informal, playful feel, through which we could show our personalities and things we enjoy together.
My engagement ring is a sapphire and by pure coincidence – Richard is a massive QPR fan, so blue was always going to feature in the colour scheme, and we liked the idea of a classic navy with fresh spring greens and pinks to brighten it up. We tried not to be too pedantic about getting the exact matches for colours, which gave us a bit more freedom and we were really pleased with the overall effect.
My amazing Justin Alexander dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton, who were extremely helpful and patient. My mum had seen it on the shop’s website and had already decided it would be the dress for me before I had even tried it on. As is often the way with mums, she was absolutely right, and the dress was perfect. The amazing intricacy of the beading and pearl details gave it a timeless, vintage feel and it was totally unique. I didn’t know much about what sort of dress I would go for, but I knew I wanted an interesting back, so fell in love with the beaded butterfly effect and the rouleau buttons. My Charlotte Mills shoes lent a playful touch, with their cobalt blue heart and a sixpence in the sole.
My bridal make-up was courtesy of Beautiful of Wilmslow, and Lindsay had been working on my eyebrows for nine months leading up to the big day. She really understood what I was after and used Airbase make-up to give a really natural, but long lasting look. Vicky Kari did a gorgeous job with the bridesmaids’ hair, and styling the mother of the bride. After a bit of indecision, I felt that because my dress was so detailed, it would be good to keep things simple, so Vicky dried my hair straight and sleek with lots of volume.
April 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s Bonfire Night wedding is full to the brim with woodland gorgeousness. Kayleigh and Paul opted for a rural wedding venue, daisies and natural grasses in the bridal bouquet and a dramatic ivy arch as the focal point for their ceremony. The result? Fan-flipping-tastic.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also some cool retro styling, sparklers a-go-go and the most glorious confetti shots. Look no further: this is autumn wedding inspo at its best.
With photography by Lumiere Photographic.
kayleigh says: We got engaged in 2015 after 12 years of being together (we‘re high school sweethearts!) Paul took me down to a log cabin in the Cotswolds where we’d stayed before. While I unpacked the bags, he hung up fairy lights on the terrace and lit candles. The sun was setting and it was so beautiful when I walked out and saw it all.
We got married on Bonfire Night 2016. We didn’t want a summer wedding because we both prefer the cold and the colours associated with this time of year. It was also the perfect excuse to have hot dogs and chilli at night and celebrate with fireworks and sparklers!
We got married at Priory Cottages near Wetherby, Yorkshire. We loved this venue because it was kind of an ‘all-in-one’. We got married in the beautiful barn, moved into the marquee for our reception and our guests could stay overnight in the cottages. The drive up to the barn was beautiful and the surrounding fields were a gorgeous backdrop for our pictures.
Our theme was autumn, using warm dark colours and earthy tones throughout. We used a lot of hessian, wood and fairy lights to create an almost woodland theme. As lovers of vintage and retro styling, we also used some old suitcases and house blankets for the inevitable chill.
Our colour scheme was dark blue and forest green. We had the bridesmaids in blue and the groomsmen too with hints of green in their ties, shoes and scarves.
I chose a Justin Alexander dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. It was strapless which I didn’t initially like, but the staff added a gorgeous attached lace top and it had a V-shaped back which gave it an extra special touch, too.
Getting ready, we used Luxe Beauty Lounge in Yeadon for our makeup. Emily was fantastic and made all the girls feel confident. Courtney Wilson from Hair by Courtney is my usual hairdresser and was absolutely brilliant.
March 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding couple might have got engaged amidst the bright lights of NYC, but chose a very different theme for their summer wedding: an English country garden x Downton Abbey inspired celebration. In fact, bride Natasha admits that her guiding mantra during planning was WWLMD? (What Would Lady Mary Do?)
Looking at these gorgeous blooms, floral confetti and the Gothic-style setting of their stunning Yorkshire venue, it’s a mantra that served them well. On with the pretty!
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood.
natasha says: Matt proposed on Christmas Day in Central Park in New York. We’d spent Christmas morning exploring Times Square and decided to go for a walk. We were watching the skaters on the ice rink when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said (or, should I say, screamed) “Yes”!
Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. We originally tried booking the ever-popular Bank Holiday weekend but this date was taken, so we went for the 6th. It probably sounds strange but I had a strange feeling then that we’d have really good weather that day. Luckily, I was right! The sun shone all day and it rained like crazy on the August bank holiday. It was a blessing in disguise that date was taken!
We got married at Carlton Towers in Yorkshire. I had actually provisionally booked another venue and decided on a whim to go visit Carlton Towers because my uncle recommended it. I completely fell in love with the Gothic-style turrets and opulent Venetian Drawing Room and knew it was the place for us. I’m so glad I took a chance on it!
The theme was ‘Downton Abbey’. I wanted something romantic and classic with a feel of English country garden to it. If I ever had to make a decision during the planning process, I’d ask myself, ‘Would Lady Mary like this?’ If the answer was yes, then I’d go with it!
We chose a blush palette with petal pinks and ivory as the main colours. We wanted something fresh and pretty that had a summer wedding feel.
I wore a Justin Alexander mermaid-style gown in ‘Sand and Silver’ from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was actually the second dress I tried on and as soon as I stood in front of the mirror I knew it was the one. The mermaid-style complemented my curvy figure (and, most importantly, nipped me in all of the right places) and the detailing made it stand out from the others. I also absolutely loved the colour. It was much warmer than a traditional ivory, which complemented my slightly olive skin tone.
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