January 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
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.
If timeless elegance is your thing, prepare to fall head over heels as we share the beautiful big day of Katie and Andrew on the blog today.
Picking the stunning Grays Court hotel in York, as the impressive backdrop to their wedding, Katie and Andrew married in a romantic outdoor ceremony, complete with a petal and lantern-lined aisle.
Concentrating on the details, the champagne, blush and gold styling and florals are nothing short of sensational, and we adore the wedding party’s gorgeous attire too! Top marks all round!
With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.
katie says: Andrew proposed in Mijas, Spain, in June 2015 on a family holiday. He had planned to propose during the first few days but my best friend also got engaged at the same time when we were away, which was amazing, but as a result, Andrew said he felt he had to wait a few more days so he could have his turn of getting down on one knee!
Knowing we always wanted to choose the engagement ring together and having been planning for a long time, he proposed with a Pandora engagement charm, getting down on one knee in the botanical gardens in Mijas in the hills overlooking the Spanish coast – it was beautiful! Andrew had asked my mum for my hand in marriage the day before so everyone knew about it except me. I didn’t have a clue!
We set the date for Saturday 14th May 2016. Our venue had an outside ceremony area within stunning gardens, so it was vital that we had a spring or summer date. This was the only date left in May and it was extra special as I turned 30 in the same week.
Our chosen venue was Grays Court hotel, in York. It is an elegant, luxury, boutique 11th Century house with outstanding features, long gallery and breath-taking gardens. York walls overlook the venue and we found Grays by chance ourselves in 2010 when walking the walls and witnessed a beautiful wedding there in the gardens. York was one of our first city breaks together and we go every year so it is a special place for us. We didn’t entertain anywhere else when choosing the venue.
We had always wanted black tie tuxedos and elegance as the style of the wedding, and so we planned a classic, romantic, intimate, English wedding with lots of style and detail.
For the colour palette, we had lots of white, champagne, blush and gold tones, with fantastic details. It was the colour scheme we naturally gravitated to and complemented our venue.
When dress shopping, I chose to visit Eternity Bridal Wear in Cheshire, as it was a local stockist of Pronovias, which was the designer I wanted to try the most. It was the only shop we went to and about five dresses in, we found ‘the one’. I always knew I would end up in a fitted dress with back detailing however this was more embellished with beading and a tulle train and I totally fell in love with it. Karl, Zoe and Ann at Eternity are amazing and Zoe knew which would be the dress for me when she asked my mum and nan to close their eyes as I came out of the dressing room. The store is beautiful too. I wanted something that felt like me, something I felt comfortable and beautiful in with lots of detailing but something I could also dance in.
Accessories-wise, I chose a Joyce Jackson two tier cathedral length veil embellished with Swarovski crystals, it glittered in the sun! My crystal embellished bridal shoes where from Badgley Mischka shipped from America, I wanted something different and sparkly. I also wore a Tiffany & Co bracelet, which was a wedding gift from Andrew.
On the morning of the wedding my bridal party’s hair was styled by Emily Hawkes, who went above and beyond and even helped me get into my shoes and dress.
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December 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding comes courtesy of Brides Up North reader Laura, and oh boy, is it a good one!
From the choice of venue through to the stylish colour scheme, fabulous blooms and Laura’s incredible dress, we adore everything about this wedding, which was planned in just four months. Yep, you read right, four months!
We’re also thrilled to see lots of our fabulous Sponsor suppliers contributing to this gorgeous celebration (if you’re on the hunt for talented professionals to make your day perfect, be sure to take a look at our ‘Suppliers We Love’ online directory).
Laura and Andrew wanted a relaxed and informal big day with a rockin’ party atmosphere, and by the looks of things, that’s exactly what they got!
With images by York Place Studios.
laura says: We got engaged at home, in September 2015. It was a total surprise – we have been together for ten years, after meeting at Uni. We’d recently moved into our new home and Andrew got up early to do some painting, when I got up he’d written “will you marry me” on the wall!
We booked the wedding for 12th March 2016, as we fell in love with our venue – Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire – as soon as we saw it and they had an opening for this date. It meant that we had just four months from viewing the venue to the wedding day!
Middleton Lodge had everything we were looking for – character yet it still felt relaxed. We wanted the wedding to be a whole weekend party without people having to worry about taxis and getting home. At Middleton Lodge everyone could stay and the house was exclusively ours for the weekend. We also immediately loved the cellar bar as it was totally different from the house and knew we’d completely change the dynamic of the day when we went down there in the evening.
We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, things were just relaxed and informal, though we wanted it to have a real party atmosphere.
Our colour scheme was navy and copper. We loved the colours as we’d seen them a lot in home interiors but we’d not seen them being used for weddings.
My wedding dress was a 50’s inspired Caroline Castigliano dress, called Hepburn, from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It had a very full skirt but other than that was very plain and simple. The dress was the one thing I didn’t want to compromise on if we’re going to organise the whole wedding in four months so I chose this before we committed to the venue and date. My shoes were Jimmy Choos.
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December 5th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Carrying on the glamour from earlier today, this afternoon’s real wedding is a seriously classy affair. Thais and James opted for a black-tie dress code, an all-white colour scheme and a frothy dream of a dress.
After a long-distance relationship across the Atlantic and a romantic airport proposal, they were finally married in the stunning 19th Century chapel at Harrogate’s Rudding Park.
This gorgeous couple simply exude elegance, sophistication and more than a dash of movie star glamour.
With images by Barber Photography
thais says: We were engaged in December 2013. So much of our lives were spent in airports with our relationship being long-distance between the UK and USA, so it made sense for James to propose in one. We were actually on the same flight coming back from NY to Myrtle Beach, with James’ mum. However, James had planned ahead of time and, with a little help, was waiting, ring in hand, balloons spelling ‘marry me?’ and For the First Time by The Script playing in the background as I came down the escalators. Someone captured the whole thing on video (see here – you can also see a shortened version on our wedding website!)
We decided to get married on 10th October 2015, exactly five years after the day we went on our first date (coincidentally all the 10s – 10/10/10!)
Our venue was Rudding Park in Harrogate. Aside from the fact that it’s an absolutely stunning venue, the staff were amazing throughout the whole process and it was only 30 minutes from James’ hometown. They also had a chapel in the grounds, which we wanted to avoid extra travel for our guests who were travelling and to preserve the fluidity of the day.
Theme-wise, we went for a black tie, formal dress code. We wanted the day to be classic, timeless and elegant. For the decor, we went all-white. Again, we wanted a chic and elegant look.
My dress was from Gown Boutique of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted, but when I tried it on I just knew it was the one.
James wore a classic Calvin Klein black tuxedo – again, timeless!
My bridesmaids all wore long, black dresses from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The groomsmen donned black tuxedos from a store in Leeds.
Our photographers were Phil and Lou Barber of Barber Photography. They’re a fantastic husband and wife team and we’d recommend them highly. They were so professional and made us feel very comfortable, both for the engagement shoot and the day of the wedding. The end products were also amazing. All their products were beyond our expectations!
Our flowers were incredible and put together by the fabulous Leafy Couture. I carried a bouquet of red roses, which was absolutely stunning. We would highly recommend our florist, Sarah Richardson, and the ‘Leafy girls’. They truly made our wedding come to life.
At the venue, Leafy Couture set up everything in terms of floral decorations. We had a mixture of all white flowers, which included roses, calla lilies, orchids, stocks, dahlias, carnations and hydrangeas. The table arrangements were so beautiful.
November 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime
An expert in both catering and event management, some might think that Michelle would have it easy planning her own big day, but having seen so many weddings from week to week she was looking for something that bit different.
Cue a stunning lakeside wedding at the beautiful Lingholm Estate near Keswick, with a church ceremony, followed by marquee (top class) wedding breakfast and a stately home evening party. Impressed? Us too!
We must say Michelle and her beau Adam pulled off a truly elegant wedding to perfection with Michelle looking nothing short of stunning in her swoon-worthy Pronovias gown.
So let’s hand over the blog to the leading lady herself to tell us more about her dream day…
With images by Wynn Davies Photography.
michelle says: We got engaged on the 14th December 2014. We went on a weekend away with some friends on the Isle of Arran where Adam spent a lot of his childhood with his grandparents. On the very last day we went for a walk on the beach in the pouring rain and he proposed; after nine years of being together it was a big shock. I remember a lady walking past with her dog, saying “Isn’t it a miserable day” and I was ecstatic! He knew I loved all things vintage and had bought the ring six months beforehand in Whitby. The ring dates back to 1909.
We set the date for 3rd September 2016, as Adam’s birthday is on the 9th of September and he always has great weather. However, on the 3rd, it didn’t stop raining – all day!
Being a wedding planner and events caterer I have been to a lot of wedding venues so it was very difficult to find somewhere that I hadn’t worked at, or that was a bit different. Adam actually chose the venue after working up in the Lake District. The venue is owned by friends and has only been a wedding venue for a very short time. It is truly breath-taking; it is called The Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter wrote many of her books. It’s situated on Derwentwater, not far from Keswick.
We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. The sail cloth marquee that we hired from Paul at Shades, had transparent sides all the way around and so I wanted the view to be the focal point. The later part of the evening was up in the house, where we just lit all the fire places with hundreds of candles, contrasting with the old panelled wood, it looked lovely.
Our colour scheme was gold and cream, with blush tones brought in by the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties.
Choosing a dress when I see them every week turned out to be hard. I wanted something less weddingy! My only conditions were no lace or sparkles, I wanted something elegant and super plain. I chose two dresses from Pronovias that they were able to combine. I had a capped sleeve, fitted, slightly fish tailed dress with a low back and buttons to the floor with a detachable bustle which made the most beautiful train. I didn’t want to take it off! I bought the dress from Eternity Bridal in Warrington.
Adam wore a Hugo Boss black suit, shoes, socks and shirt. All the gents had personal cufflinks made by Chimo Holdings, my father’s silver company in Sheffield. All the cufflinks were personalised with my nana’s hallmark.
For our wedding transport, we used my father’s car, which used to belong to my uncle, who has sadly passed away. The bridesmaids’ car was Adam’s BMW, which I had bought a personalised number plate for as a little pressie.
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April 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Not every bride’s dream dress is found hanging on the rails of a bridal boutique as this morning’s bride Katie goes to show.
Having envisaged the type of gown that she would love to walk the aisle in, Katie found a talented dress maker to bring her wedding wishes to life. The result is a stunning fishtail lace dress with beautiful capped sleeves, which we love.
The big day took place at Denton Hall – a stunning venue in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, which we will soon be visiting for ourselves to stage our spring Luxury Wedding Exhibition. So if you want to see this fabulous hall for yourself, be sure to join us between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 17th April 2016.
With images by Bethany Clarke Photography.
katie says: James and I met at whilst I was at university in Newcastle. We subsequently moved to my home town of Leeds and after spending two years renovating our home, we were very excited to be spending our first Christmas there together.
As Christmas is my most favourite time of the year, James set about to make that Christmas the most special of all. On Christmas Eve James cooked a fabulous meal. We resided to our living room, which James had filled with candles, and he proposed by the Christmas tree. He arranged for us to spend a night at the Savoy in London, and for us to choose an engagement ring together. It was magical.
The number 13 is lucky for us, so we set the date 13th June. We hoped for beautiful summer weather to enjoy the fabulous views from our venue. Our friends laugh as the weather forecast was driving rain until the morning of our wedding. We were so lucky to have the most beautiful hazy summer’s day.
James found our wedding reception venue. He’s a keen cyclist and often cycled past Denton Hall and so he arranged for us to go to see it. We fell in love with it the moment we walked through the door! The grand hall is nestled within the beautiful Ilkley countryside with the most stunning views, which we made the most of during our drinks reception.
For the ceremony, we both wanted a small traditional church wedding and we were lucky enough to marry at the picture perfect St Helen’s church in Denton, Ilkley. Denton Hall is about 200 metres from the church, so after the ceremony we walked, with our guests, across to the hall.
August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.
What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes. Read on, read on…
With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.
hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!
We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.
Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!
We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.
I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!
Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.
The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!
We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.
Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.
My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!
The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.
Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!
We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.
Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!
We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!
In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.
The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!
Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!
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