June 2nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Bride and groom, Melanie and Rory, were one of the first couples to book their wedding at Le Petit Chateau – a truly gorgeous French-inspired country manor hotel in the heart of beautiful Northumberland; instantly falling in love with its summer holiday feels. After getting engaged in the Big Apple, it seemed only fitting that there would be a subtle nod to this special location; and this came in the form of their table names. Keeping things simple though, no other theme was needed. But this doesn’t mean the wedding was lacking in personality or special touches – far from it!
As well as writing their own vows, Rory’s mum aka ‘Crafty Crofty’ stepped in to create some truly wonderful favours, table centrepieces, invitations and decorations for the couple, re-imagining their ideas and bringing them to life. She even baked their elegant white cake. (We’re wondering if we can steal her away for our special occasions too?) We’ll let Melanie tell us more about this quirky DIY approach though – prepare to soak up those Mediterranean vibes!
With images by Kristos Kabiotis Photography.
melanie says: We got engaged on 12th February 2015, in New York. We were in an extremely cold Central Park and Rory was attempting to get me to walk out onto one of the lakes, which had frozen over – I flat out refused as I was scared we’d both end up cracking it and falling through into the freezing water! Instead, we went to see the Alice in Wonderland statue and it was just along from here – on a bank called Cedar Hill – that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I was completely taken by surprise and just to make the moment even more magical, it started to snow! He had managed to find possibly one of the few secluded spots in one of the busiest cities in the world where it felt like it was just the two of us. He later told me he wanted to propose on the frozen lake but I’d scuppered that plan!
We always wanted a summer wedding as we love going on holiday and our venue – Le Petit Chateau – definitely provided that Mediterranean vibe. We were one of the first couples to book the venue on its first open day, so were lucky enough to have our pick of the dates available. We ended up choosing a date almost a year from the day we booked!
I’d been interested in the venue since The Apartment Group announced the plans to build a new venue in Otterburn, and we fell in love with Le Petit Chateau the moment we saw its Belle Époque on the open day. We loved the idea of being in one venue for the entire day, so we wouldn’t have to travel between the ceremony and reception.
We had no specific theme for the day, but I loved the idea of naming the tables after places we’d visited on our trip to New York, where we got engaged. We used Central Park as the top table.
I knew I wanted to have a neutral/pastel colour scheme, which would contrast with the venue and its colourful gardens during the summer.
I searched for hours online looking at different wedding dress designers and visited around seven bridal shops trying on almost every style of dress, but nothing was exactly what I wanted. I eventually went to Wed2B at Gateshead, after it was recommended by a colleague and tried on even more dresses…until I found the one! It had everything I had envisioned, and I knew straight away that this was what I wanted to walk down the aisle in.
Rory didn’t want to go for something conventional and had his heart set on a dark tweed suit. We heard about Master Debonair in Boldon from a friend, so Rory and his dad (who was also his best man) went to try on some suits, along with my dad. The guys in the shop were great and allowed Rory, and both dads to try on several suits whilst enjoying a couple of beers (I arrived after work and was delighted to find a glass of prosecco on arrival). Rory eventually decided on a dark blue slim cut suit – he looked very dapper! Rory also selected a skeleton pocket watch and a champagne coloured tie and pocket square.
July 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
From the venue’s name, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an overseas wedding, but in fact the stunning French inspired venue can be found in rural Northumberland.
Cheerleaders Rachelle and Liam fell whole-heartedly in love with its unique styling and charm, planning a big day with French shabby chic touches to complement their surroundings.
So, let’s get straight into the pretty. Ready? Ok!
With images by Sean Elliott Photography
rachelle says: We got engaged in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2013, while we attended the seventh World Cheerleading Championships, in which we both were competing together as part of Team UK.
We set the date for 30th July 2016 – the beginning of the school holidays as Liam is a teacher and we wanted to make sure we had time to fit in a good honeymoon before he went back to work.
Our ceremony took place at St. Peters Church, Harton, South Shields at 12pm as it had sentimental value to Liam. We then held our reception in Le Petit Chateau, Otterburn. We originally booked a different reception venue when we first got engaged but when we discovered the plans for Le Petit Chateau, we fell in love and decided to lose our previous deposits and change to Le Petit Chateau, despite never actually seeing the venue until a month before our wedding. After seeing the venue, it looked a million times better than what we’d expected from the plans and knew we had made the right decision to change our wedding
We didn’t have a theme as such but it was almost aimed towards French shabby chic. We incorporated old books and watering cans into our centrepieces. Our table plan was a mannequin with French inspired shabby chic labels pinned to it containing the table plan to incorporate the French fashion scene. We added a cheerleading bow to this as that was how we met and how we’d got engaged. We picked our favourite looks from Pinterest and the shabby chic appealed to us the most. When we found our new venue, we tailored it more to suit the style and it worked perfectly.
We chose a coral colour scheme, as it was a very summery colour that we thought would brighten the photos. When we first saw the venue, we were excited to see that the same colour was used on the external walls of the Belle Epoque!
I chose my dress – an ivory Mori Lee gown – from The Bridal Factory Outlet, and had a wonderful shopping experience there. My dress was a full A-line dress with a slight sweetheart neckline. The bodice was covered in a heavy lace with pearls and crystals. It had a lovely crystal belt that tied into a lovely flowing tulle bow at the back. The skirt kicked out at the waist into layers of tulle. I picked the dress to show off my waist and as a cheerleader, I wanted sparkle but I didn’t want to go too overboard.
I also picked a shorter knee length dress for the evening, which was a white Sherri Hill dress that had a bodice full of pearls and a full tulle skirt with lace detail at the bottom.
Liam wore a grey three-piece suit from Slaters with a white shirt and black Ted Baker shoes also from Slaters, and a coral and ivory paisley silk tie and pocket square that I’d found on Pinterest and sourced from Amazon. They matched the colour scheme perfectly and were such much nicer than a block colour.
I won my bridesmaids dresses from Brides Dream in Newcastle, from a wedding show in 2014 and picked them from a wide range at their store in summer 2015. I picked a coral floor-length gown with an illusion sweetheart neckline. The top of the dress was a coral mesh with a lovely delicate lace detail on the shoulders. The dress also had an illusion low back, that accented my wedding dress.
I had a man of honour in my bridal party too, my best friend Ben Pardey, who helped my maid of honour, Olga Crehan. They were my two best friends from university and I couldn’t have got married without them both by my side with a main role in the wedding.
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February 7th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The moral of today’s real wedding – every cloud has a silver lining! For Karen and Robert had originally planned to marry in the lakes, but due to excessive flooding they had to cancel their big day plans last minute and return to the drawing board. In doing so they found a dream setting in Le Petit Chateau, a new venue to the North East that’s brimming with wow-factor.
Leaving the details to the unique venue, Karen and Robert picked an elegant champagne colour scheme and stunning calla lily blooms to complete their wedding vision.
And Karen looked the perfect fairy-tale bride within the story-book like setting in a gorgeous Madeline Gardiner gown, which provided just the right amount of big day sparkle.
With images by Barnaby Aldrick Wedding Photography
karen says: We got engaged on our ten-year anniversary. Robert surprised me with a night away to London at the Oriental Mandrin. He had booked us into a suite and when we arrived there was champagne awaiting, strawberries covered in chocolate with a huge bouquet of flowers. We then had a lovely stroll down to Buckingham Palace where we could take in the sights and have some well-deserved ‘us time’. When we arrived back at the hotel there were more surprises in store – spa treatments – and he had booked us in Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant within the hotel. The meal was absolutely beautiful and just before our desert Robert got down on one knee and proposed. All of the staff knew he was going to propose so once he popped the question, and obviously I said yes, they were ready and waiting to send their congratulations and brought us champagne and a chocolate cake with “congratulations” written on. The whole day was just perfect, I couldn’t have wished for a better day!
We got married on 11th June at Le Petit Chateau, Northumberland. This wasn’t actually our first choice of venue as we’d originally booked our wedding in 2014, which meant that Le Petit Chateau hadn’t been built and didn’t exist so we didn’t even know about this place at the time. We were originally due to get married in the lakes, but due to the flooding in December 2015 our wedding venue cancelled on us last minute. When searching for an alternative venue it was Le Petit Chateau’s sister venue Newton Hall that put us in touch. Although it was still under renovation and we only had drawings to go off, we took the chance based on the beauty of its sister venues and booked Le Petit Chateau.
We chose a champagne colour scheme for the wedding, which we felt would be an elegant addition to the day.
My wedding dress was by Madeline Gardiner. It was the complete opposite to what I originally thought I would go for, but when I put it on I cried so I just knew this was the dress for me. It was stunning!
Robert wore a navy blue Hugo Boss three-piece suit. He always knew from day dot he would wear Hugo Boss so it didn’t take him long to pick his outfit.
The bridesmaids wore dresses from Ami’s Bridal and groomsmen wore suits from Next.
Our chosen wedding photographer was Barnaby Aldrick, who is based in Leeds. He is such a fantastic photographer – he captures the day beautifully and I would recommend him to anyone.
January 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding takes place at one of stunning Sponsor venues, Le Petit Chateau in rural Northumberland.
Creative bride Katie, instantly fell head over heels for venue’s unique French charm and set about planning a stylish big day that represented both her and her beau David down to the ground.
Cue gorgeous art nouveaux and art deco styling, botanical designs, jam-jar florals, jewel tones and an abundance of pretty and personal touches – ladies, this one is a beauty!
And if you like the look of the setting of Katie and David’s big day, why not pop along and see the splendid Le Petit Chateau for yourself on Sunday 29th January, when the venue will be hosting a Wedding Open Day. Between 2pm and 5pm, brides and grooms-to-be will be able to explore the venue and its grounds, chat to the wedding team and meet some of the North East’s top wedding suppliers.
With images by Gavin Forster Photography
katie says: David and I had been together for 14 years when we got engaged, and just about all our friends were married. Then I was appointed chief bridesmaid for my best friend in September 2015 and unbeknown to me it was decided by the bride et al that I was to catch the bouquet – I did and from that point on a secret plan was hatched between David, my friends and my family to find me a ring.
He proposed on one knee on 7th November, my birthday, during a rainy dog walk in a bleak country park in Northumberland. I was elated, there were lots of tears! He knew I would like an emerald and something a bit different and probably vintage, so had chosen a stunning art deco style white gold, diamond and emerald ring from a jeweller on the Etsy website.
Having been together so long we didn’t want to hang around and with me being a teacher we really needed to find a date during the holidays. We had lots of family travelling from all over and ideally wanted to make a long weekend of it so were really keen to get a Thursday or a Friday. We quickly chose 4th August 2016 as, safely in the summer holidays, there would be a bit of time to plan and I would have a week or so after finishing school. Also, it would be exactly a month before our 15th anniversary on the 4th September so it seemed like a good choice.
I was really concerned from the outset that I didn’t want the venue to be too ‘weddingy’. I was worried it would look like we were playing dress-up and we would be swamped in a one-size-fits-all approach. By luck, whilst searching for venues, I stumbled across information about a new French shabby chic themed project from The Apartment Group. When I was little we used to go to France every year, I then introduced David to France and now we both dream of having a house there some day so this seemed a perfect place for us to get married. My best friend Fiona’s wedding had been at As You Like It (also ran by The Apartment Group) and had been beautiful and very professionally managed by their wedding team. So, when I found Le Petit Chateau, despite it not even being fully built I felt really happy that knowing the quality of The Apartment Group’s other venues that they were definitely the right choice. What we ended up with was gorgeous; it was even better of course that being nearly the last of our group to marry that nobody had ever been to the venue before!
I used to work in the arts and had a very clear idea of what I wanted to achieve visually for the wedding. There was no theme, but, much like the scrap booking approach I had taken to collecting ideas, we did have several common threads running through.
Art nouveaux and art deco style botanical designs, jewel colours, our home, places we love like France and Italy, and friends and family also featured heavily in all our plans. Everything had to have a reason for being there. More than anything I wanted it to just be really representative of us, so this along with the magic of twinkly lights and lovely vintage style cut glassware all of fed into the wedding ‘collage’.
I love rich colours and when he is not in navy blue David really likes purple tones so this became the basis of ideas for the colour scheme. I knew I didn’t want one colour, that definitely wasn’t ‘us’. So instead we chose a pallet of jewel and berry tones: ruby, magenta, plum, raspberry cut through with emerald and sapphire tones with flashes of gold and silver.
Being a lady of giantess stature, I am 6ft 1 ½ inch, I knew I would look insane in anything puffy. I loved the classic beauty of 1930s style gowns and had an idea that that sort of style would suit me. So my best friend (and chief bridesmaid), who knew about the proposal, found a vintage shop to visit as a surprise during my pre-planned birthday trip to York. This turned out to be an amazing find. Hayley, at Glory Days Bridal, was fantastic. I tried on some stunning pieces, many of which were her designs based on 1930s styles and we agreed this was probably the way forward. To be sure, and for the fun of it, I tried on dresses elsewhere but nothing I had seen caught my imagination as much as the dresses in Glory Days. I later drew out one of Hayley’s designs that I had tried, made a couple tweaks and emailed her to see if she would agree to make it. She agreed and so my stunning dress was born.
August 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
There are wedding venues with the wow-factor and then there’s the likes of Le Petit Chateau, a brand new venue to the North East, which pushes the jaw-dropping bar even higher.
When we first learned that the award-winning Apartment Group were working on a new wedding venture following the success of their other venues, including the gorgeous Newton Hall, we were told to expect something luxurious and different – and that’s exactly what they’ve delivered.
Situated within beautiful countryside in Otterburn, Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau started life in the form of a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel, but it has now been transformed into a first class wedding venue, complete with spectacular function rooms, boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens.
As we heard more about the venue during its development stages the excitement grew, we were intrigued by its South of France influences and talk of a breath-taking ceremony room, and then as images of the venue started to emerge, we became desperate to see for ourselves if Le Petit Chateau lived up to the hype.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as the wonderful Apartment Group team invited us for an overnight stay at Le Petit Chateau, not long after opening its doors. As Julia had not long welcomed her beautiful second daughter Lili, I took one for the team (it’s a hard life) and snapped up the invitation, taking my mum along with me for a girly weekend away (much to my boyfriend’s disappointment).
On the weekend that we visited the venue was hosting no less than three weddings, one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which proves its instant popularity. As an exclusive use venue Le Petit Chateau only ever hold one wedding per day and the building has been cleverly designed so that brides, grooms and guests don’t clash with previous wedding parties, or members of the public.
Upon arrival we enjoyed a drink in the William de Percy, Coaching Inn and Creperie, which sits on the site of the old Percy Arms. Its warm atmosphere and chic rustic décor give us a slight taste of what’s to come. It’s not long before we are shown to our room and the real opulence and extravagance of Le Petit Chateau is revealed. Passing through reception we climb to our first floor twin room, which causes us to gasp as we enter. Looking like a bedroom that one would expect to find in a luxurious French manor, the décor and furnishings were nothing short of stunning. Known for their incredible attention to detail the Apartment Group have thought of everything to make guests’ stay both a unique and unforgettable, with each of the 29 bedrooms individually designed for to create that certain je ne sais quois.
After the incredible detail, the next thing to hit you about Le Petit Chateau is the hospitality. All the staff are friendly and attentive, creating a warm and enjoyable atmosphere which encourages people to instantly relax and have fun. During our visit we were incredibly well looked after by the General Manager Dale, while the wonderful Master of Ceremonies Tim took time out to give us a tour of the function side and the venue and head of housekeeping was proud to show off the rooms that she and her team lovingly look after. Beyond that, all the bar, waiter and events staff also go about their work in a happy and enthusiastic manner, which all in all says to me that couples marrying at the venue would be incredibly well looked after!
July 4th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Prepare to fall in love ladies, for this afternoon we’re introducing another of our Dream Venues, and this one is both beautiful and brand new!
The fabulous Le Petit Chateau, brings French charm and style to the Northumberland countryside, providing an individual and impressive setting in which to say those all-important ‘I dos’.
From its spectacular function rooms to its boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens, this venue is sure to tick your dream wedding boxes.
Better still, Le Petit Chateau is celebrating opening its doors with a super special wedding offer – 50% off all venue hire in 2016! Plus according to those behind the venue – the award winning Apartment Group – there are lots more amazing freebies that you won’t want to miss out on! We’ll let the Apartment Group take the blogging reigns now to tell us more about this fabulous French fancy…
Images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Tell Brides Up North a little about the venue and its history…
apartment group say: Le Petit Chateau is a unique North East wedding venue in the beautiful country side, Otterburn, Northumberland. Hospitality at Le Petit Chateau started in the 17th century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel and has welcomed visitors across the decades – but never quite in the spectacular style it is today.
What facilities does the venue have?
It houses a bar, function rooms and 29 beautiful boutique bedrooms indoors, while outside there are stunning Mediterranean Gardens and a fabulous outdoor terrace. We also have a second phase of development planned with a spectacular riverside terrace coming soon!
Is Le Petit Chateau licensed for civil ceremonies and is there a choice of ceremony rooms/spaces?
Yes, Le Petit Chateau is an exclusive wedding venue with purposely built ceremony space. We have both indoor and outdoor spaces to suite all different shapes and size weddings. Our beautiful Belle Époque room is perfect setting for your vows, or if an outdoor wedding is more your style, our Mediterranean gardens full of tropical palm trees create a stunning backdrop for a garden ceremony. We can cater for up to 160 guests throughout the day and 220 on the evening.
What makes Le Petit Chateau a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?
Le Petit Chateau is a fabulous new, unique wedding venue from the people who brought you the fabulous Newton Hall and the North East’s award winning premier leisure operator Apartment Group. Bringing the South of France to Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau’s décor is absolutely breath-taking and certainly offers the wow factor. Our exclusivity allows the wedding day to run exactly how our couples desire.
Is there a certain room or feature of the venue that instantly impresses couples?
The stunning Belle Époque room beautifully designed as the perfect ceremony setting is definitely a hit with brides and grooms. Outdoors meanwhile couples are impressed with the garden’s Mediterranean palms, fire pits and the spectacular fire on water fountain. All in all it creates a one of a kind venue, like no other!
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