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!
February 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
As well as being a source of inspiration and guidance for our brides-to-be we also like to give our supplier followers a helping hand where we can by letting them know about blooming marvellous industry events such as Leafy Couture’s two-day styling class on the 5th and 6th of March 2015, part of their brand new offering – The Leafy Couture School For Florists.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of public speaking on blogging and social media within the wedding and lifestyle sector recently, and I’m honoured to have been invited along to share my top tips in a dedicated session during this special event.
I love hosting smaller group sessions like these, and if hearing about my recent adventures into the world of coaching have peaked your interest a little do watch out for some very exclusive workshops launching here soon.
But back to those flowers.
Our good friend and the wonderful talent behind Leafy Couture Sarah Richardson, has a an amazing portfolio that comes with some serious clout. This incredible lady has vast experience in the world of weddings having worked on hundreds over the past eight years, from marquees to grand stately homes, she is truly passionate about couples’ big days.
Her work is regularly featured in national wedding magazines and local press as well as on numerous national and international wedding blogs, including Brides Up North. She’s also one of our go-to-girls for styling at our industry events and creative shoots, delivering impressive blooms every single time. To add to her credentials Sarah has taught floristry to BTEC Level 3 as a college tutor, demonstrated at RHS Harrogate Flower Show and has recently been nominated for a Wedding Magazine blogging award, phew!
She’s therefore incredibly well placed to support others in their passion for flowers through both her group styling events and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Whether amateur or experienced a lot can be learnt from this lady and we’re sure some of our florist friends will be keen to go back to school if it means gaining tricks of the trade from Ms Richardson.
But enough from me, I’ll hand over the pages to Sarah to explain in more detail what her upcoming styling event has to offer – catch you there!
sarah says: This class is especially for florists who are wanting to build their confidence in the world of weddings.
We will hold your hand and guide you through a series of arrangements to build your portfolios. We will introduce you to a wedding planner, wedding blogger and events team to get insider tips on how to get on in the industry.
And there’s more. We’ll help you work on building your own style and create images for your websites and social media. We will guide you through our processes with wedding appointments and show you how to create wedding bouquets, buttonholes, flower crowns and then style a ceremony and wedding breakfast with large scale designs such as urns and an archway.
All classes take place in The Chili Barn, Otley – a real wedding venue, where we will show you all the things you need to think about when working on site and fill your head with ideas. You will be working on your own and also as part of a team as you would in a real life wedding situation.
This is a two-day course with all refreshments, including tea and coffee and cake and a delicious lunch, provided. All material, aprons, workbooks and flower material will also be supplied.
Places are limited so each student will get maximum experience and attention. A basic knowledge of flowers and floristry is preferable but we are on hand to guide you every step of the way.
We shall have a photographer on site but you are advised to bring a camera too or a smart phone. All students will get a free skype or phone mentoring session a month after the course to continue the support. Students will also get free access to our new E-Book chapter on wedding flower appointments and session hand outs.
Hope to see you there!
Images by James Melia.
January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning on these pretty pages I’m very proud to introduce a new Brides Up North Sponsor and brand new (so new its doors haven’t even opened!) bridal boutique for North Yorkshire, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique.
The boutique’s fabulous owner, the lovely Diana, wanted to organise a special photo shoot to show off the wedding dresses that you’ll be able to find at The Little Pearl on launch day and beyond. I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously excited…
Readers, I give you, pearl’s girls.
diana says: The inspiration behind the launch shoot for The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique was creating our own style of hollywood glamour. Our vision for the boutique is elegant yet stylish with a warm, relaxed and welcoming feel.
We decided on The Talbot Hotel in Malton as a shoot location due its classic British design, period features, but also its modern take on traditional comforts. The landscaped gardens and historic setting also provided some great backdrops for the photographers to work their magic! We had the most talented people in Yorkshire involved on the day, all assisted by my good friend Jonny Draper at Jonny Draper Photography, who helped bring all these fantastic people together.
We had the best photographers Yorkshire has to offer, who all brought their different style and edge to the shoot. Hayley Baxter has such a contemporary style to her shooting, with the most stunning use of light. Samantha Ward takes a relaxed and romantic approach. She’s passionate about film photography and incorporates shooting film within the wedding day, producing beautiful images, rich in tone and depth. Sam was thrilled to be involved in the Little Pearl Bridal photo shoot and says “Diana has sourced some stunning dresses for her boutique along with incredibly beautiful accessories and what a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph these gowns and details creatively with film.”
Georgina Harrison shoots hybrid with traditional medium format film along side digital. Her style is feminine, using natural light to create luminous , light airy images that have a sense of romance with soft pastel tones. She always loves shooting bridal portraits and making woman feel comfortable so was delighted to be involved in this shoot and despite the damp, grey day she produced some gorgeous soft, light romantic images.
Having these photographers come together for our launch shoot was an honour and they’ve captured such beautiful and complimentary shots between them.
Our stunning models were styled by the superb and internationally renowned, hair and make up artist, Catherine Elizabeth. She came along knowing exactly what would work both for the shoot and on the models themselves – a true pleasure. I even learnt a few techniques myself!
Sarah of Leafy Couture brought along some stunning floral displays, from bouquets to floral crowns, which helped bring the essence of glamour and elegance together.
The models (Laura, Kirstie, Livvie and Molly) are all friends of mine and even though it was a new experience for them, they were naturals! They all brought something different to the shots and loved playing dress up for the day!
The shoot itself went so well! Obviously it was my first time organising and running something like this, and everyone involved was so supportive and helpful throughout the day. I loved finally seeing the dresses on, watching their movement and experimenting with different accessories to complete the look. They all looked stunning!
The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique is a beautifully elegant boutique, situated in the historic market town of Pickering, North Yorkshire. We will be opening the doors in February and can’t wait for brides to come and see us. Searching for your perfect gown is such an emotional experience, and should be a joy from the moment you start seeking out what designers you like to the day you walk down the aisle.
I have had a passion for all things bridal for as long as I can remember. After working with my husband in the wedding industry and then searching for my own gown, I knew that opening a bridal boutique was my destiny. I wanted to give brides the experience that I feel you should have when planning such an important purchase!
At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring ourcustomers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles. Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches. Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).
We have lots of exciting plans for the boutique, including exclusive events and helping brides and their families get access to and experience the very best wedding suppliers in Yorkshire.
The diary is now open! We will be having a launch open day, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to Pearls Girls via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl. Contact us at email@example.com to book your Little Pearl experience now.
brides up north featured supplier, cathering elizabeth, charlotte balbier, Enzoani, flo and percy, georgina harrison photography, hayley baxter photography, leafy couture, maria senvo, pompadour lingerie, rachel simpson shoes, samantha ward photography, sassi holford, Sasso, the little pearl bridal boutique, the talbot hotel, wedding dress, wedding dress north yorkshire
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