Charlotte Balbier

future classic. justin alexander for a dreamy wedding at east riddlesden hall – kate & luke

October 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (34)

It’s been a very pretty week indeed on the Brides Up North pages – and it’s not over just yet, as this afternoon’s real wedding is yet another beauty.

Taking place in Yorkshire, Kate and Luke’s big day is brimming with style & romance thanks to a pretty blush pink colour scheme, a well-dressed wedding party and lots of twinkling fairy lights.

With images by MJ Holding Photography.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (13)

kate says: We got engaged on 22nd June 2014, at an Eric Clapton concert in Leeds. Luke picked it because the first present I ever bought him was tickets to Eric Clapton. He proposed during the song, Wonderful Tonight. It was a really special moment and the song will provide us with a lifelong reminder.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (10)

We got married on 10th July 2015. It was actual only one of the few dates left at our venue – East Riddlesden Hall – for 2015 and happens to also be my dad’s birthday so it was extra special. It was meant to be!

Having lived in Australia for a few years, when we moved home we decided that we would like a local wedding surrounded by all our family and friends. We got married at Bingley Parish Church, as it is a picturesque church with a great local feel, and then went onto East Riddlesden Hall.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (19)

We didn’t really have a theme as such apart from I wanted it to be a very pretty wedding, lots of blush colours, lots of flowers and lots of candles.

We decided on a navy blue and blush colour scheme as I didn’t want lots of bright colours and wanted it to look very classic.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (21)

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (23)

I went for a Justin Alexander sweetheart neck strapless dress with lots of ruffles, which I wore a lace jacket over the top as I wanted to put my own touch on the dress. I took the jacket off at night and added a belt and a diamante clip in my hair. I tried lots of dresses on until I found my dress at Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. I didn’t want a dress that I could die black and it be used as a cocktail dress but I didn’t want a big princess gown either so mine was perfect in that it was big but it had some structure and detail to it without being ‘blingy’ as I didn’t want a lot of beading. I absolutely loved it!

We found the style of Luke’s wedding suit when visiting Rome and asked George Lilley, a Leeds tailor to recreate the design. Luke wore a double breasted pale pink waistcoat with a navy blue suit which had some pink detailing on the jacket to match the waistcoat. We teamed it with a navy tie. All the boys wore pale pink socks, which looked fab too.

Our bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses and they all picked their individual styles which all really suited them as they are different ages and have different tastes. The groomsmen wore TM Lewin slim fitting suits with a matching pink tie and dark brown shoes.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (25)

Fir transport, we hired a traditional wedding car from Halifax Wedding Cars – it looked amazing as we were able to take the roof down when we travelled from the church to the venue.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (36)

Our photographer was one of our best friends and groomsmen – Mike Holding. Mike has been a photographer for a long time and just recently turned professional so it was an obvious choice! He was absolutely incredible in making everyone feel relaxed, he didn’t seem phased by anything and we couldn’t have been happier with the photos we received. We would recommend Mike to everyone!

I carried a soft, natural, handtied bouquet of soft vintage pink sandstorm roses, scented white O’Hara roses with majolica spray roses, sweet peas and pink peonies. We used Stems Design, from the minute I met Lynne I knew she had to be the person to do my flowers. Lynne took all my ideas and brought them together to give the reception barn the perfect look. As the barn is quite a blank canvas it was really important to get the décor right and the flowers just made it. We had candelabras on every table filled with flowers and in all the windowsills we had flowers and candle lanterns.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (50)

We wanted favours that could be enjoyed on the day and so our family helped us to create them with Luke’s grandma Annie making Sloe Gin for the Ladies, and my uncle Andrew making Bramble for the men.

We had a five tier cake made by Charlotte at Sugar Therapy who is actually Luke’s Step Auntie. We had five different flavours: vanilla and raspberry, Belgian chocolate, passionfruit, Himalayan salt and caramel and white chocolate and raspberry. Instead of icing we had white chocolate covering the cakes and a waterfall of roses coming down.

The food and wine for the day were really important to us as we wanted to create our own menu. We chose James Brown Catering as his personal approach, passion and enthusiasm set him apart from the other caterers we spoke to. The food and service we received was absolutely incredible, we had so many comments on the food being of restaurant quality rather than mass catering.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (52)

When it came to the entertainment, we had our own playlist for during the meal and the band – Psychoslinkys for the evening. They were a band who we used to watch when we were first dating and we remembered them being fantastic – they didn’t disappoint! They even played the song we got engaged to – Wonderful Tonight!

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (56)

There were a few extra special touches to the day which included having our own Instagram hashtag #thelaverys2015 which was great and everyone used it! We also hired a huge ‘love’ sign which I was debating about for a long time as they are quite costly but I am so glad we got it as it looked great on the dancefloor – especially in pictures. I did a lot of the outside decorations myself, pompoms and hearts hanging from the trees, a ladder with a love sign and flowers on it. Basket in the ladies toilets with lots of handy items to spruce yourselves up with. We also purchased Polaroid cameras and asked guests to create a ‘memory’ book.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (3)

We would absolutely recommend East Riddlesden Hall to other couples, particularly those that want to really make the day their own. The venue is very idyllic with a lake at the front and picturesque gardens and scenery at the back. You can make it as unique as you like. As it is basically a blank canvas, this was great for us as we didn’t want a “package wedding” we wanted to make it our own. It is harder work than a hotel wedding where everything is included but absolutely worth it. The staff there couldn’t have been more helpful, and from the minute we looked around to the day itself, they were so helpful.

It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the wedding that stood out more than the rest. There are lots of special parts that I still look back on and smile about weeks later. The whole day was perfect from start to finish and it really was the happiest day of our lives. Being able to celebrate with all our friends and family and seeing how happy everyone was on the day made it extra special.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (60)

For our honeymoon we went the California and Las Vegas – we did San Diego, Orange County, LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas over three weeks. It was amazing, I had never been to America before and it certainly didn’t disappoint! We did lots of travelling and saw absolutely loads, some of our highlights included the baseball in San Diego, dinner at The Ivy in Beverly Hills, cycling the Golden Gate Bridge and The Beatles show in Las Vegas.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (64)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – enjoy it! Don’t let anything get stressful and enjoy all the planning and run up as that all part of creating your perfect day. Also, don’t always go for big companies and rely on reputation when choosing suppliers. We went with people who took a genuine interest in our wedding and were as passionate about making the day a success as we were. The results were fantastic!

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glamo-rustic. justin alexander for a glamorous rustic wedding in yorkshire – jodene & jody

September 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (59)

Today we’re spoiling you with a double dose of fabulous real wedding inspiration, and this afternoon’s helping is yet another beauty!

We love the theme for Jody & Jodene’s big day – rustic glamour – which incorporates both the groom’s hobby of shooting and the bride’s love for things sparkly, showing that a country styled wedding doesn’t have to be all gingham and bunting.

Cue twinkling fairy lights, decorative antlers, a shimmering dress, log centrepieces and a pint of beer (or two!).

With images by Atken Photography.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (7)

jodene says: Jody always said he would never ask me to marry him on a special occasion so I was really surprised when he asked me on my birthday. He was in the front room on one knee with both our daughters (one at each side of him) on their knees too. It was so special that he involved them too.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (2)

We got married on Saturday 23rd May 2015. We chose that date as it was the day we met five years previous.

Our ceremony was at St Cuthbert’s church in Burton Fleming, this village church is beautiful and is in the middle of our home towns, mine is Scarborough and Jody’s is Bridlington. We then had our reception at Wold Top Brewery, this is five minutes away from the church and is amazing. It is set in the wolds and has amazing views. There is a rustic bar and a barn that we put a marquee up inside. It has secret gardens and lots of open space for the kids to play. We looked at lots of other venues but nothing compared to Wold Top. It’s so rustic and beautiful.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (12)

Jody is into shooting so we decided on a rustic but glamorous theme. There were slices of trees that the centre pieces sat on and we had a rustic pudding table where the cakes sat upon logs. The marquee was supplied by Florida Marquees and had fairy lights all over the ceiling with a white dance floor with a starlit canopy. The guys at Florida helped us create the perfect setting.

Our colour scheme was quite neutral really to fit in with the rustic feel. The adult bridesmaids wore a mocha colour and flower girls wore white. The groom, groomsmen and page boys meanwhile were all in brown tweed waistcoats.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (17)

I had an amazing dress by Justin Alexander. It was a fitted strapless sweetheart dress in ivory (although looks white). It had large embroidered lace which had sequins underneath so it sparkled in the sun and when I moved. I chose this dress as I felt amazing in it and I love a bit of sparkle. I wore it with a full length veil that had gems sorted through it. I wore my hair up and sleek as I didn’t want to take away from the dress.  I had been to a lot of dress shops and tried on loads of dress and never got that feeling. I chose the dress I felt the best in.  I got it form The Wedding Room in Scarborough – they were amazing!

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (20)

Jody wore a brown tweed waist coat and matching jacket from Suits Direct, white shirt from Next and brown suit trousers also from Next. The brown ties were from a tie shop in Scarborough and his brown brogues were from River Island. It was important for him to look and feel comfortable and I don’t think a formal wedding suit would have been right.

The groomsmen wore the same as Jody but no jacket. The page boys wore the same waistcoats with white shirts, cream chinos and brown brogues. Our bridesmaids wore a full length mocha coloured dress by designer Jacques Vert. The dress had a one-shoulder twist detail and was in chiffon. All six flower girls wore white dresses from Monsoon that had sequin detail at the top.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (27)

I stayed at Wold Top the night before the wedding and so was a short distance from the church. Jody’s friend John drove me to the church in his Merc on the day.  As a surprise Jody had arranged a camouflage mule to take us back to the venue. The mule is usually used for collecting pheasant, it had white ribbon on the front. It was really different.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (30)

Atken photography captured our day. Shane and Kelly are married and I have known Shane for years as we used to work together. They have done pictures for us in the past and are amazing. I wouldn’t have anyone else taking our wedding pictures. They are professional, laid back and know their stuff.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (35)

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (37)

My and my bridesmaids’ flowers were gypsophila with a few peach flowers in too. The groom and groomsmen had a button hole of a gold bullet with gyp coming out. Rosebud Flowers provided these and also did our centre pieces – we had two different ones alternating each table. One was a tall white case with a ball of gypsophila at the top with fairy lights in the gyp. The other one was a deer’s antler on a ring on gyp with fairy lights in the flowers.

Other décor included lace and hessian chair bows, wooden love hearts on the tables saying ‘Mr & Mrs Chapman’, and letters in the bar on the brick wall saying ‘Mr & Mrs Chapman 23 May’.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (6)

As favours we had beer brewed by the brewery which we named and put a picture of us and our wedding date on the label. It was called ‘Two Jodes Are Better Than One’

Our wedding cake, which was made by Jody’s cousin Heather, was a white and cream design with a sparkly top tier. The other two tiers had lace on to match my dress. We then had cupcakes some in camouflage cases and some in lace ones. Some had deer’s antlers on and others had sparkles. The cake was sat on a beer barrel and the cupcakes on a wooden ladder. She also did a groom’s cake with real antlers on and camouflage sponge.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (47)

For our meal during the daytime we had a hog roast as we didn’t want anything too formal. In the evening we had bacon, sausage and black pudding sandwiches as well as a big, rustic dessert table.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (60)

One of Jody’s friends is a DJ so he did the entertainment for us. He has his own bar in Bridlington and DJ’s all over the world so really knows how to make a party.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (5)

Our venue was truly magical – we would recommend it to anyone. You can do pretty much want you want up there and Anne is amazing. Each wedding there is different as it’s a blank canvas so each bride and groom can have their wedding day just as they want it.

The ceremony was my favourite part of the wedding. Seeing all my friends and family watching me marry the man I love (I have waited a long time to get married).

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (64)

We haven’t yet gone on our honeymoon as we have decided to take our girls Ella and Ava away next year on a ‘familymoon’ instead.

A Glamorous Rustic Wedding In Yorkshire (c) Atken Photography (66)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try not to stress too much as it will all be perfect anyway. And try and make time to see your groom as the day goes so fast it’s easy to get caught up and not even see your new husband!

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sweet on you. a pretty wedding at the ashes – lisa & james

September 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

Today’s real wedding captivated us as soon as it landed in the Brides Up North inbox. Not only because it’s up there with the prettiest weddings we’ve seen, but also because so much thought and love has been poured into all the different elements of the day to ensure it is both personal & pretty!

When submitting her wedding, bride Lisa said some very kind words about our blog, which she used as the main source of guidance and inspiration for planning her own big day. We are blown away with the results and are so pleased that what we post on our pretty pages is of such use to our creative and stylish brides.

Prepare to swoon (a lot)…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (11)

lisa says: We got engaged all the way back in July 2013. We used to date in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, and James proposed where we used to frequent on the cliff top ‘Lover’s Walk’ overlooking the town, on one knee with an amazing vintage inspired engagement ring! It was how I’d always imagined us getting engaged, and luckily he’d had the same idea without us ever speaking about it!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

We chose July 31st as our wedding date as we wanted a weekday summer wedding and knew for family with children the summer holidays would be best. We chose to wait two years to give us enough time to save up and have the wedding we wanted without rushing things or compromising on what we wanted, which really took the pressure off! The date is also one day after my grandparents’ wedding anniversary date, so tied that in beautifully.

We came across The Ashes venue whilst searching Derbyshire wedding venues. I’m from Derby, and the place has always been special to us, as well as the Peak District and the North of England generally being stunning anyway! As soon as we walked into the ceremony barn at The Ashes for our first viewing we knew it was where we were meant to be married, and didn’t look anywhere else, it just felt right! We wanted somewhere beautiful but with a laid back and rustic feel at the same time, and The Ashes had all of that and more.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (14)

The theme naturally evolved into an English rose/country theme the more we chose! My dress started that as it’s covered in lace and chiffon roses, and the flowers followed suit. I’m so pale I’ve always been called an English Rose anyway! James works on a farm and as a tree surgeon, so lots of the country elements were inspired by him and his job, such as incorporating lots of wood (he cut all the centrepiece tree logs himself), the wheat in the boutonnieres, and the peonies, which he grows. The venue really helped complement our choice of theme. We’re quite laid back people, so things like just having the rolled up shirts and braces and mismatched bridesmaids dresses just worked for us.

We chose pale pinks and mint greens as the colour scheme to keep things natural but pretty. The venue was a great blank canvas, with lots of natural earthy wooden and stone colours, so pinks and greens stood out as soft and summery without being too over the top and distracting.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (18)

My dress was Justin Alexander style 8711, a lace ball gown with a sweetheart neckline and cathedral length train in ivory, with lace and chiffon laser cut roses. I went into Courtyard Bridal Boutique in Kettering near where we now live to try a different Justin Alexander dress, but that one just wasn’t quite ‘the one’. I chose this to try on too while we were waiting as I loved the quirkiness of the roses, and once I tried it on and came out of the dressing room I was convinced – everyone gasped and there were a few tears! The dress was the perfect combination of fairy tale wedding with a fun quirky twist that suited us well. For the evening I switched to a Chi Chi London lace midi dress from ASOS, as I knew I couldn’t run about and dance all night in my daytime one!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

James wore a pair of grey/brown tweed trousers, with a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves, brown leather braces and brown leather shoes. All the groomsmen were similar but with different braces. This was to keep with the laid back style and just to suit us. James also wanted to show off his amazing half sleeve tattoo, which had elements inspired by our engagement, and we had hoped it was going to be a hot day (we were right!) so opted to have no jackets.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

The bridesmaids were all in pale pink, but all the dresses were completely different. I wanted them all to feel comfortable on the day, and we didn’t want the uniformed look of all girls being the same. This way they all got to pick a dress they felt suited them and their body types. The dresses were from Debenhams, BHS, and ASOS. The flower girl’s dress was from Monsoon, and she looked like an angelic little fairy princess!

Jenn Edwards hair and makeup team were on hand to help me and my bridesmaids complete our looks. Jenn and the team really put us at ease on the morning of the wedding. They were so professional and got to work right away making everyone look fabulous and were a great girly addition to the wedding morning, which should be a fun and girly part of the day. I would highly recommend!

On the morning of the wedding the girls and I got ready on site in the lovely Old Dairy cottage, which meant we didn’t require transport. For James, as a surprise a hired a DeLorean! This wasn’t in keeping with the theme of the day at all, but I wanted to do everything I could to make sure the day was as much about him and his loves as much as it was mine, and he does love that car! It collected him from where he was staying the night before and he was in total shock! It was great fun to have in the pictures too, and a once in a lifetime experience for him.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (25)

Our photographer was Helen Russell Photography. Choosing a photographer was one of the most, if not the most important element for us, as once the day is over the photos are what you have left to treasure. We wanted a photographer that had a slightly more artistic and soft almost vintage style, without being too over processed and cheesy, and after lots of Googling we found Helen! We had an amazing engagement shoot with her, and she was a joy to work with, so professional and creative. On the day she was like a wedding ninja, appearing everywhere at the right place at the right time to get some amazing shots. She captured some really great moments for us, and the images feel soft and romantic.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (31)

The flowers were all provided by Campbell’s Flowers in Sheffield. After finding them online and meeting the owner, Tracy, we knew they were the florist for us. They really care about creating the right flowers for your day, and have a wonderful fresh, handpicked feel to their arrangements. The bouquet was mostly roses, with hydrangeas, dahlias and peonies, and was a great mix of soft pastel colours. They also provided the flowers for my hair, which was perhaps one of my favourite elements of the day! The most beautiful big pale pink rose, with smaller foliage and tea roses – they just finished off my outfit and looked stunning.

The flowers used for decoration were also from Campbell’s. We had an assortment of vases for the centrepieces on the tables and windows to add to the relaxed feel, and Campbell’s filled them with gypsophila, roses and dahlias. It all just looked so fresh picked and colourful. They even filled our teapot and teacups on the top table which suits our love of tea so well! We had rose petals to decorate the aisle, and hydrangea petals for confetti.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Most of the decorations were handmade, and my good friend Angela really helped craft some of the more amazing decorations, such as our welcome sign, Mr & Mrs light up letters, and our amazing wreath for our ceremony. We had more than 70 meters of bunting in the reception barn, and lots of lovely handmade lace bunting in the ceremony barn too. We wanted little personal handmade touches everywhere to bring our personalities and love of crafts into the day, so we had handmade confetti cones and programme fans too.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

We decided not to do favours on people’s places, as so often they seem to get left behind, so we opted to do napkins with personalised luggage tags and engraved wooden cookies with wheat and lavender for the tables, and had a separate table with homemade jams, honey, teabags and wild flower seeds for people to collect after the meal. That way guests could choose what they wanted to take home and nothing was wasted or left behind.

Our cake was from Pretty Fancy Cakes in Derbyshire. Faye at PFC was brilliant in listening to us describe our day and create a cake around that. It was four tiers of white icing, with the same lace piped on that was on my dress, icing peonies and petals, and our tattoo emblem (we have a matching LJ logo tattoo on both our wrists!). I also, as another surprise for James, had a Lego cake made with little Lego toppers – I know he loves Lego, and again wanted him to have special touches on the day that I knew would represent him and his hobbies.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

The wedding breakfast food was a quite traditional, an English three course meal with ratatouille tart or salmon for starters, and a choice of chicken with a duck farce, beef with a Tio Pepe reduction, or butternut squash and pecorino crumble for mains. The dessert was a selection of three mini desserts so everyone could enjoy a bit of a variety. The food was so well presented at The Ashes – Jenkinsons were the caterers. For the drinks reception we kept it laid back and fun with Pimms with fresh fruit and fruity Old Mout ciders for the summer’s day.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

As entertainment, we chose to have Dan and Jess from Replay Acoustic Duo sing throughout the day. They were a fantastic touch, as they played a great variety of non-cheesy songs from all genres with their own lovely laid back acoustic feel. Jess’ voice was angelic, and it again added to that laid back summer fun vibe.

We also had Polly’s Parlour vintage ice-cream van for an alternative to traditional canapés for the drinks reception post-ceremony. We’re big Volkswagen fans (all our tables were named after VW cars!) and Florence is such as fun and beautiful campervan. All the guests commented on how tasty and refreshing the ice-cream was, and it looked amazing in the photos, so colourful and cute.

We also chose to put on some lawn games on the grassy area and hired some huge light up ‘love’ letters for the dance floor. These were a great focal point for the day and the evening, especially as we opted to have an iPod disco rather than a DJ. Our first dance, which was a waltz (as we ballroom dance anyway) looked lovely against the sparkle of the letters.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

We would definitely recommend The Ashes venue to other couples. First of all the location is stunning, the views are breath-taking and it’s immaculate inside and out! With its stone walls and wooden beams it’s a great blank canvas, no crazy carpets or curtains to try and work around, it’s just yours to play with! The other brilliant thing is that they set everything up and pack everything away for you – I can’t tell you how much of a help that was, you can just sit back and enjoy arriving on the day to everything being decorated, and at the end of the night can leave without a worry!

My favourite part of the day was our first look shoot. We knew it was something we wanted to do for a while, and we were so right to do it. It was probably the only part of the day that we got to experience just for us. No crowds of people watching. We got to keep the moment of seeing each other for the first time for ourselves, and weren’t at either ends of an aisle. We got to hug, kiss and high five and say how we felt before all the madness began! It really helped calm our nerves pre-ceremony, and made us feel like we went into the ceremony already united. We also got some lovely photo and video moments from it. I’d recommend a first look shoot to anyone considering it, as it really is a special moment to share.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (50)

We chose to visit Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. We wanted somewhere that was paradise with beauty and beaches, but also plenty to see and do, as we can’t sit still for long! This worked really well, as we spent some days lazing on the beach and by the pool with a good book and a cocktail, and some days seeing Sri Lanka, riding elephants, visiting tea and spice gardens, seeing the wildlife on boat tours, and taking in the culture. The weather and surroundings were incredible, and the people so friendly. We really got chance to unwind.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (48)

My top tip for other Brides Up North, apart from the first look shoot, would be to really enjoy the planning and the lead up to the wedding. The wedding day is just a few hours and goes so quick, so try to really stop and enjoy the time choosing lovely things with your suppliers, crafting those special details, trying on that dress, and having the family and friends time. There won’t be another time in your life like it, and it’s important to enjoy the wedding as a journey and an experience, not just for the day.

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time travellers. justin alexander for a back to the future wedding in cheshire – lisa & david

September 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (42)

The styling of today’s real wedding was inspired not by the season or the venue, but by the groom’s favourite film – back to the future. Though a cult classic of the 1980s, David and Lisa chose to style their wedding on the era Marty and Doc Brown were thrown back to, the 1950s, which made for a colourful and upbeat big day.

We love both the bride and groom’s choice of fitting attire, especially Lisa’s pretty tea length dress, finished off perfectly with a pair of cute Charlotte Mills heels.

And what better way for David to travel than in his very own DeLorean time machine car? We think this one might make a few grooms rather jealous!

So join us as we travel back in time to relive David and Lisa’s big day.

With images by Ragdoll Photography.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (8)

david says: We got engaged on the 1st September 2014. We were on a visit to Canada to see my Uncle Neville. We had an amazing holiday visiting Niagara Falls, Forest in Sarnia, and Windsor Ontario. We spent our last few days in Toronto, and I thought there would be no better time and place than to propose on the glass floor of the CN Tower, with a beautiful Tiffany ring. I knew she wouldn’t be able to say no, and I was delighted that Lisa accepted to spend the rest of her life with me.

lisa says: We chose the 4th July 2015 as our wedding date because Dave is a big Back To The Future film fan, and this date marked the 30th anniversary of the film’s release date.

We were welcomed so warmly into the community at our local Methodist church in Sale, Cheshire, that we wanted to take our vows there, and were really pleased that Rev Richard Mottershead agreed to marry us.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (13)

We both agreed we wanted a really relaxed and informal day that our friends and family could let their hair down and enjoy, so where better than our home for the reception? We hired a marquee from Marquee Hire 4 You, which we dressed beautifully with 50s style bunting, cut glass vases, summer bright flowers and candles. It was a great bonus that our house was only a short walk from the church. We were also blessed that our wedding day fell on one of the best summer days in July. The days leading up to the wedding and immediately after were wash outs, but on our day the sun just kept on shinning down on us.

We loved the idea of having a fun theme to a make our day that little bit different, so we continued with the Back To The Future theme and travelled back in time to the 1950s. Lots of our guests got into the spirit of the era, wearing swing dresses, trilbies and 50s hairstyles.

In terms of the colour scheme we just wanted things to be vibrant and bright, so we gave the florist free reign to use their creative flair. We were very happy with their fantastic choices of summer flowers, which added lots of colour.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (18)

On the wedding day I wore a lace 50s style tea length dress by Justin Alexander, which I chose from Puure Bride in Lymm, Cheshire. The ladies in the shop were fantastic, and the seamstress altered it to fit me perfectly. I wore fresh orchids in my hair, which was pinned up beautifully by Michelle from House of Finesse in Altrincham. My shoes were by Charlotte Mills, with a silver six pence sewn inside for luck.

Dave wore a lovely bright electric blue suite, off the peg, from Marks & Spencer, along with a grey Christys’ trilby hat, a yellow cotton tie, and brown brogues. He finished the outfit off with some DeLorean Time Machine cuff links, which I bought for him.

My flower girl Natalie, wore a dress similar to mine, which I bought from Debenhams. Our sons Sam and Josh wore matching blue check slim fitting suits from Next and Trilby’s from M&S. They really looked the part.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (19)

My good friends Rajiv and Shalini, drove me from the hotel to the church in their gorgeous silver Jaguar car. David, meanwhile, arrived in his DeLorean time machine car, hired from Tom Reddaway of DeLorean Timemachine, Devon. After the service the Reverend put on a pair of shades, jumped in the DeLorean and myself, Dave and all of our guests followed as it drove to the house for the celebrations to continue.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (21)

Our photographer for the day was Rosie from Ragdoll Photography. I met Rosie at the Brides Up North Bowden Rooms bridal fair and as soon as I started to explain what our theme was and what we wanted, her face lit up and I knew she was going to be great. We can’t praise Rosie enough. She was amazing with a very natural and relaxed style. It was like having a friend/guest at your wedding that just happened to have a camera. We are so pleased with the photos and the video slideshow she produced.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (24)

My bouquet and all our flowers were from Living Colour Floral Design, Warrington. I asked Amy there to use whatever bright and beautiful summer colours were available, and the results were just stunning. For decorations, we had pew ends and flowers on the altar in the church. They also filled the large vases for the marquee tables with a vibrant splash of colourful flowers, each unique. Everybody loved and commented on the flowers

Our reception was in our garden, so we thought that forget-me-not seeds tied with a pretty ribbon would make nice favours (David definitely banned sugared almonds!)

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We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake or cutting of a cake, so we decided instead to have a selection of beautiful cakes from Slattery’s Bakers, Whitefield. There was something for everyone’s taste. They looked great and tasted delicious. We also had a selection of handmade chocolate decorated strawberries from McAuley’s Coffee Shop in Swinton.

For the wedding meal we decided to stick with our Back to The Future theme, and so chose Ollie from Pizza Loco, which is a quirky traditional wood fired pizza oven inside a steam train, to provide the food. They cooked a choice of perfectly crisp pizzas at a rate of one every ninety seconds for our 200 plus guests. We also had two chefs, Colin and James from Hewitt’s Hog Roast, cooking tasty American style BBQ food. We provided a well-stocked bar with everything our guest could want, and had Pimms on arrival and a champagne toast.

As an extra treat (and because I love sweets), I turned our little summerhouse at the bottom of the garden into a sweet shop, which the children and adults all loved. Dave illuminated it with a varied selection of LED lighting and bunting, giving it a 50s old sweet shop feel.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (33)

When it came to the entertainment, we searched for a 50s style band, and booked Rockin’ Robin & Honky-Tonk Hoods (aka The Ginger Nuts) from Nottingham, through DG Music online. James and the band were just awesome. They did two main sets, and all the DJ’ing. We asked if they could perform our first dance, which they learnt, and played for the first time at our wedding. It was Earth Angel, by Marvin Berry, from the Back to The Future film. Their version was wonderful, and just what we wanted. The dance floor was never empty during their sets.

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Following our wedding day, we would highly recommend others consider having a wedding at home. To us it allows a much more personal touch than any other venue.

A Back To The Future Wedding (c) Ragdoll Photography (7)

Our favourite part of the day was dancing out of the church, much to the surprise and delight of our guests. Everybody was laughing and clapping as we exited to the sound of Huey Lewis and the News, The Power of Love.

Stafford Wedding Photographer (1 of 50)

Following our wedding we jetted off on honeymoon to Sorrento, Italy. It was both romantic and beautiful.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – don’t get swayed by other people’s ideas of what your wedding should be, and what you should have. Keep focussed on what you really want and not what other people expect. Nothing says you have to conform, so just be yourselves and most importantly enjoy every moment of the occasion.

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london calling. justin alexander for an elegant wedding at heaton house farm – lucy & andy

August 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (41)

Though they didn’t marry in the capital, opting for a northern venue instead (yay!), today’s couple still gave a nod to the place bride Lucy is from by hiring some iconic transport.

A black cab and red double decker bus carried the bride, groom and their guests between venues providing as great talking point and turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the day.

So it’s all aboard to Cheshire as we relive Lucy and Andy’s wonderful wedding.

With images from Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, James Tracey Photography and Daniel Lloyd Photography.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

lucy says: We got engaged in November 2013 in Mauritius. Andy informed me that he wasn’t feeling well while we were sat on the beach at night looking at the view so we sat down. Next minute he was down on one knee proposing.

Our wedding date was 29th May 2015. It was the closest we could get to the date that we first met – we met years before we got together but it took Andy a while to ask me out on a date.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

We got married at Heaton House Farm in Cheshire. I’m from London and wanted something totally different to all the venues that I had seen down south. Heaton House Farm is in such a stunning location and the views are spectacular, whatever the weather!

We had a loose London theme for the day. We had a red London bus from Routemaster Buses to transport our guests from the church to the reception venue and Andy and I arrived in a black cab.

Navy, white and yellow was our chosen colour scheme. I originally wanted navy and white for pure elegance but someone pointed out to me that it might look a bit clinical and so we added in a vibrant yellow.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

My dress was a Justin Alexander design from 7th Heaven in Congleton. I wanted something simple, elegant and very bridal. I loved that whenever I put it on I never wanted to take it off.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

Andy’s outfit came from Whitfield and Ward. He wanted a waistcoat and to incorporate tweed and some navy. Craig at the shop helped him choose a great suit to complement. The groomsmen’s attire was also from Whitfield and Ward.

My bridesmaids wore Vivian Diamond dresses from the Dessy collection, which we got from 7th Heaven.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (20)

James Tracey was our photographer on the day and Daniel Lloyd was a second shooter. Booking the photographer was one of the first things we did after booking the church and the venue. James has the perfect personality; bubbly, relaxed and super organised. We would highly recommend him.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

For my flowers I carried a rustic, tied bouquet and my bridesmaids carried identical arrangements. Laura from Green Earth Flowers seemed to really understand my vision and put it into practise when creating the bouquets.

Venue Perfections helped with the reception décor. We had personalised bunting hanging from the beams in the barn, navy taffeta bows on the chairs and yellow and navy ribbons wrapped around the napkins. To decorate, we also had sliced lemons in mini jars with assorted flowers as well as long stemmed flowers in the scheme colours in tall, elegant vases.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

I had seen lots vintage letters lit with old bulbs in varying wedding magazines at shows and I decided we must have them at our wedding and that Heaton House Farm would be a great place to showcase them. We hired ‘Love’ letters from The Word is Love. They were hugely popular and lots of our guests commented on them.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

Our favours were by Gemma at Pat-a-Bakes. We had white, navy and yellow decorated gingerbread love hearts wrapped up and tied with a bow.

Linda at Buttercup Cakes, Whaley Bridge, made our wedding cake. It was a four tiered design with sparkling sugar crystals and had navy ribbon tied around with a diamante broach clasp. It was lemon flavoured with vanilla filling – yummy!

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

DJ Krissy B provided the entertainment on the day. I love 80s and 90s music and had seen Krissy B play before. He appeared perfect for the wedding and he was!

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

We would definitely recommend Heaton House Farm to other couples. The entire events team are extremely organised and nothing is too much trouble. You are allocated a wedding coordinator and they ease any stress that you might be feeling. The venue also has stunning views, inside and out.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (58)

My favourite part of the day was being on the London bus on the way from the venue to Heaton House Farm. Sitting next to Andy, surrounded by friends and family travelling through all the little villages and taking it all in was priceless and a very precious moment for both of us.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (72)

Following the wedding we had a minimoon to Lake Garda. It was simply stunning. The weather and views were glorious. It was a very romantic area with lots of amazing activities on the lake. A perfect setting for our first week as Mr and Mrs. We sailed, rode bikes, went kayaking and sunbathed.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (71)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to breath (remain calm) and be as well prepared as possible. That way the day should run smoothly. Be aware of your ‘countdown’ days in the run up to the wedding and allocate certain jobs to be done in certain months so that you feel a sense of achievement.

A London Inspired Wedding in the North (c) James Tracey Photography (79)

We would also suggest couples delay their big honeymoon until later in the year. Aware we might well feel deflated after our big day we took a minimoon following the wedding and have planned a ‘megamoon’ for October to extend the wedding feeling.

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true blue. justin alexander for an eclectic wedding at the crab & lobster – ann-marie & matthew

July 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (31)

Today’s real wedding took place at a quirky hotel and restaurant that has a sort of anything goes feel to it with its mismatched décor and furnishings. Rather than try and impose a set theme on such an individual venue, bride and groom Ann-Marie and Matthew cleverly blended styles they love into the setting for an elegant yet eclectic wedding day.

We love the 1950s influences in the bride and maid of honour’s dresses as well as the groom’s slightly unusual pale blue suit and patterned tie combo. Elsewhere there are pretty shabby chic touches in the décor and a country garden theme running through the flowers and cake designs.

Oh, and Ann-Marie didn’t just go for one ‘something blue’ but instead lots, with a colour palette made up of varying shades of the cool hue.

With images from Michael Cartwright Photography.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (2)

ann-marie says: We got engaged on 20th April 2013 at Drybeck Farm in Cumbria. It was our anniversary weekend and Matthew had booked a weekend to Drybeck Farm as a surprise. Drybeck was our first weekend away together when we first met so Matthew thought it would be romantic to rekindle the early days. Matthew had been working during the day and came back at lunch time to get ready and go. I jokingly asked him “Have you forgotten anything? Like a ring?” to which he replied “Seriously? You do know there isn’t a ring, don’t you?” That was enough to put me off the scent.

I’d made a lamb stew to take with us that we cooked over an open fire and we sat and drank red wine and ate stew and tiger bread under the stars, wrapped in blankets. Matthew finally popped the question down on one knee on the banks of the River Eden. I of course said a massive yes!

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (3)

We decided on 24th May 2015 as our wedding date and chose The Crab & Lobster near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, as our venue. We knew the hotel and restaurant because of its reputation in fine dining but we had never been to stay before. We went to a wedding open day and suddenly everything fell into place. The gardens are beautiful and the hotel is so wonderfully quirky that we instantly fell in love with it.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (10)

We wanted our wedding to be laid back but still beautiful. One of our major turn offs with all things wedding was the ‘fake grandeur’ that is automatically pushed on brides. We also didn’t like the idea of an outright theme. We preferred just to choose all the things we liked and try to link them together. If we had to try and shoehorn our wedding into any kind of theme I suppose it would be ‘50s shabby chic, English country garden glamour’ (if that can be a theme?).

This eclectic mix of styles matches our personalities and went perfectly with the venue, which is a mismatch of all sorts of memorabilia and oddities.

We chose blue for our colour scheme. We didn’t make any decision on one particular type of blue and decided to have a wonderful mix of shades and hues that all complemented each other. We used white and ivory with a touch of peach to complement the blues. On reason for choosing blue was because of its association with luck at weddings and we thought why stop at one ‘something blue’ when it can all be blue!

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (12)

My dress was a 50s style ball gown by Justin Alexander and bought from Just Perfect at Shotton Colliery. It had a boat neckline and pleated sash waist with a small detailing of crystals and pearls. The dress was plain ivory silk and had a train. On my feet I wore peacock blue peep toe shoes from Faith, which had a T-bar encrusted in diamantes and peals.

My headpiece was custom made by The Libertarian. It was an ivory silk flower with crystals and pearls in the centre and a short 50s style veil with a sprinkling of diamantes. The crystals on the flower were my ‘something old’ and had been taken from a necklace my Grandmother left to me. My earrings were custom made by Mobeus in Hartlepool which also used the crystals from my Grandmother’s old necklace. Finally, I wore a jersey pearl bracelet that I borrowed from our daughter (she was bought it as a christening present).

On the big day, Nicholas at Hobson and Holmes in Darlington, did my hair while Jo Leversuch of Makeup by Jo, did my makeup.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (8)

Matthew wore a pale blue suit from Psyche in Middlesbrough with a coordinating dark blue tweed waistcoat from Debenhams. His shirt was plain white from M&S and shoes were brown brogues from Just Perfect Menswear at Shotton Colliery. Matthew’s tie and pocket square were from an online retailer called Dancys.

Our maid of honour wore a royal blue 50s style dress by LouLou Bridal and our flower girl wore an ivory satin and tulle ballerina style dress both bought from Just Perfect at Shotton Colliery. Their head pieces were both custom made by The Libertarian and featured handmade and custom dyed silk flowers.

The groomsmen all wore a suit of their choice with white M&S shirts and ties from Dancys. Our page boys wore pale blue linen suites from Next with coordinating bow-ties from Dancys.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (24)

Michael of Michael Cartwright Photography took our photographs. Michael is an old school friend of mine so we knew that we would be hiring a photographer that could put us at ease and who knew our personalities and tastes. Michael did a fantastic job of capturing the day without lots of posed or staged photos that will age and go out of fashion. We have ended up with a wonderful pictorial story of our day that will stand the test of time. Michael was a true professional and was so great at taking candid photos. We hardly even knew he was there throughout the day but we still got more than 1,000 pictures to choose from.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (32)

I carried a bouquet of wild and garden flowers in a range of blue and lavender tones including forget-me-nots, scabious, cornflowers, roses, lisianthus. They were tied with a bow with long tendrils of multi-coloured ribbons in different widths and textures. The brief to the florist was that I wanted to look like I had walked through a beautiful meadow and country garden and collected my flowers on the way to the ceremony – they did not disappoint.

The flowers were from Flowerhouse in Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees which until recently was my brother’s business which he and my mum started more than ten years ago. Ever since I was small I have grown up around flowers and flower shops as my mum has been an award winning florist for 50 years. I knew from being a little girl that the most special thing was for my mum to do my wedding flowers and with the help of the staff at Flowerhouse that wish came true and the flowers were spectacular!

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (54)

Our table decorations were lots of smaller bunches of flowers using the same flowers as my bouquet. These were in jam jars which I decorated with ribbons and lace. Again the flowers were from Flowerhouse. We also decorated the tables with smaller jars with tea lights in them and set the table settings with sprigs of lavender and corn from Shropshire Petals, who also supplied our confetti.

I made all the decorations for the day including a number of hand painted signs and more than 30 metres of bunting as well as burlap signs and ribbon wands for the little people to carry. Instead of a guestbook I also made a hand painted canvas which everyone could write their messages on which has given us a beautiful momentum of the day.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (47)

As favours, each guest was given a packet of forget-me-not seeds from Not on the High Street. Due to the huge number of flowers at the wedding, each couple also got to take home a jar of fresh flowers at the end of the night.

We chose a three tier cake with a different flavour for each tier – fruit, chocolate and vanilla. A friend of ours (Jenny) made the cakes and a friend of my mum’s iced them for us. It was decorated with fresh flowers from Flowerhouse and a bunting cake topper from Beautiful Greys, a shop on Facebook.

Additionally we had a cheese and pork pie wedding cake from Earls Cheese Wedding Cakes in Stockton, which doubled as our evening buffet. This was topped with bride and groom mice from Cotton Reel Crafts. We served the wedding cake on the evening as dessert.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (49)

To keep guests entertained we had a jazz duo welcoming everyone to the ceremony and then playing in the gardens afterward. They were the Crab and Lobster resident musicians, Muttonchops, and were a fantastic addition to our day. During the ceremony Matthew’s brother, Robbie, and my friend Angela gave a rendition of Songbird by Oasis which was very special to us. On the evening we decided to have a jukebox instead of a DJ. That way the dancefloor was always full because the music was chosen by the guests.

To make the day all the more special we added a few individual touches, including inviting our guests to take part in a competition at The Crab and Lobster’s one-hole golf course to win a bottle of bubbles. It was a fun little addition and everyone had a go at getting their ball closest to the flag.

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (70)

We would recommend all of our suppliers, they each provided exactly what we wished for and were full of professionalism. We would also definitely recommend our venue to other couples. It was so fantastic in every way. The staff were wonderfully attentive and understood our vision from the outset and ensured that everything went swimmingly. They were very willing for us to completely take over and decorate everything in sight and change things around as we saw fit. The wedding coordinator, John Lacey, was fantastic and couldn’t do enough for us – from helping me to change my shoes, to standing up ladders hanging bunting, carving up enormous pork pies and helping our daughter up and down the patio steps.

I don’t think we could pick a favourite part of the day as it was all absolutely amazing. That said, our highlights would include; seeing each other for the first time, spending an entire day with all the people we love and dancing the night away to a plethora of retro tunes!

An Eclectic Wedding at The Crab & Lobster (c) Michael Cartwright Photography (72)

For our honeymoon we had four nights at Peacock Pavilions just outside of Marrakech in Morocco. It was a wonderfully relaxing break full of delicious food and exploration. We were fully spoilt at Peacock Pavilions with private dining in a hand painted Berber tent, a private screening of Casablanca in an outdoor cinema with cocktails and a bridal henna party for me. No stone was unturned at this wonderful quirky little oasis. Pure bliss!

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to start early! If you are anything like us and want to do a lot of work yourself or are interested in the finer details you need as much time as possible. We spent two years planning and it was only just enough time. We had an amazing day and all of the extra effort, hard work and sometimes stress was worth it all for the perfect amazing day.continue reading

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