July 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s bride and groom are currently living outside of the UK due to spouse visa restrictions which have caused them and their families a lot of heartache. Their wedding was bittersweet as their friends realised that they had to leave the country because they were getting married, which made it all the more important that their celebration was extra special.
Hilary and Mike proved that your big day doesn’t have to cost the earth in order to have the time of your lives. Full of original styling touches, hand made elements and bursts of bright colour, Hilary & Mike’s perfectly personal quirky wedding day reflects their individuality beautifully.
Images by Eleanor Woodruff Photography.
hilary says: Our engagement story is absolutely hilarious and, according to our friends, no one could botch it quite like we did. We were on holiday in Cap Ferret, France in June 2013, and Mike had been secretly planning this for ages… he’d organised the barbecue, the beach, and even the sunset, but when it came to the critical moment he realised he’d forgotten to buy a ring or phrase the question! So looking rather ill (“food poisoning”), he steered the conversation towards “What the Bible says about marriage…”, much to my bewilderment. He finally managed to ask, “So… how ’bout it then?” To be fair, I didn’t get the answering part right either – I laughed and thought he was joking, then sobered up and said yes, then cried and said no, then walked down to the other end of the beach to think about it, and finally came back half an hour later with a definite yes.
We got married on Saturday 12th July 2014. We chose Left Bank Leeds for our venue, ultimately for the price and the DIY aspect of the space – which meant that we could rent the building for the day and move furniture around in between the ceremony and the reception, saving us paying for two venues and worrying about transport in between! We had an incredible team of friends resetting the hall for us while guests had drinks and photos taken outside. That Left Bank is a beautiful old church building which was another plus point for us as Christians.
We didn’t really have a theme, unless you count “a tight budget” as one! When planning the wedding we were a little daunted by the perfect, fairytale weddings we were seeing everywhere – we’re the least “bridal” couple we know, and as you might have guessed from our engagement story, far from perfect. In the end we just went with what reflected our personality best and made us feel most comfortable, which meant lots of origami flowers in recycled wine bottles, tea lights in jam jars we’d collected all year, and haphazard splashes of bright colour everywhere. This actually made it the perfect wedding for us because it represented our crazy and pragmatic sides so much better.
We used royal blue as a backdrop to hold all the splashes of brighter colour together, and also because everyone in the bridal party looked good in it – a bigger consideration than you might think in mixed race marriages!
My dress was from BHS and tailored to size by the lovely Sophie Davies Tailoring. Being 4’11” dress shopping is difficult at the best of times, and I’d got to the point where I was trying on First Communion dresses when I found this one, in the most unlikely of places! It was everything I wanted – a beautiful muted colour from the creamy lace material and champagne lining, not wider than I am tall and with straps to alleviate my fears of a wardrobe malfunction. Sophie did some magic and made the dress fit like a glove, also shortening it (by about a foot) from the waist to save the lace hem – something that a different tailor I had originally gone to wouldn’t do. She is incredibly talented and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
My shoes were from New Look and specifically chosen to narrow the foot and a half in height difference between me and Mike! It meant that I had some difficulty walking downhill but it was a small price to pay.
Mike is 6’4″ and has different problems altogether when buying clothes. He swears by Marks and Spencer‘s suits, and would do no different for his wedding day. He wore a slim extra-long suit in charcoal grey, a blue-and-white dogtooth bowtie with matching pocket square and, to my chagrin, a pair of Arsenal cufflinks.
We were fortunate to find dresses for the bridesmaids in a style quite similar to my dress in New Look! I definitely wanted dresses that they could wear again, and this fit the bill perfectly, also surprisingly in a shape and colour that suits them all. The dresses originally came with brown belts but the girls swapped these out for white ribbons. They wore their own shoes and I loved how this added to all the colour on the day.
Mike had two best men – his brother Andrew and his best friend Mike. Andrew has an amazing waistcoat and bowtie with multi-coloured frogs on a hot pink background which we absolutely wanted him to wear, and we brightened Mike’s wardrobe up with a colourful polka-dotted bowtie. Our ushers (unfortunately not photographed as they were moving furniture) wore royal blue ties with elephants. The blokes that did make the photos were my “Ugly Bridesmaids”, my housemates without whom a lot of the wedding would not be possible. They could wear whatever they wanted.
We didn’t hire any transport, we were each driven to the venue by our friends/family. Mike’s driver made a detour for petrol on the way to the venue!
Our wedding was photographed by the amazing Eleanor Woodruff Photography. Ellie had photographed another wedding at which Mike was best man, and we were drawn by the amount of personality she captured in those photos and how genuine she made the day look. Ellie took the time to meet up before the big day to find out more about us, scout out the venue, and go over a list of family photos. Being far more experienced with weddings than we were she also had many handy organisational tips for the day! The photos of our day are full of character and absolutely perfect, we cannot thank her enough for what a great job she’s done.
My bridal bouquet was made by my friend Liv, whose origami skills know no bounds. She’d layered so many papers, textures, and beads – it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.
We didn’t have any real flowers on the day because I was paranoid about hayfever and sneezing my way down the aisle (I opted to trip down it in my 6-inch heels instead). I had the idea to do origami flowers and folded some of them to begin with, but the vast majority of it was down to an amazing team of friends and family who folded away for several hours the day before the wedding. We also had plenty of balloons and colourful bunting for a fun touch, home-made confetti and fairy lights around the hall. The table settings were my favourite – each table had a white tablecloth, a royal blue runner, multi-coloured napkins, candles and a wine bottle-full of colourful origami flowers.
Mike’s Uncle Keith made the cake based on a picture that we’d shown him on Google. Everyone agreed that he needed a career change from train driving! The cake had three tiers covered in white icing, each made by a different family member and iced by Uncle Keith. He also stuck on individual pieces of edible confetti to form a cascading effect down the side and tied royal blue ribbons around each tier – if anything it looked better than the original that inspired us! The cake was topped by a champagne glass filled with more edible confetti, and engraved with our names and the date of our wedding.
Following our DIY-origami theme, we had DIY spring rolls for our first course, a great conversation starter for our guests who didn’t know each other! We also had bring-and-share salad and desserts, which turned out to be a great idea as there was an incredible variety of food to choose from. Our main was a hog roast provided by Boss Hog Yorkshire. There was SO MUCH food and everyone was well and truly stuffed.
Left Bank Leeds provided the drinks: beers and soft drinks from Samuel Smiths Brewery, a local company, and a selection of Fairtrade wines.
It made no sense to us to hire a band when several of our friends are musicians, so we organised an open mic for entertainment during the meal. Our friends absolutely did not disappoint and we had such a good evening, with everything from classical violin to 5-piece band. After the meal we pushed the tables aside for a ceilidh, with music from Ermine Street Band. Everyone loves a good ceilidh, and there was plenty of screaming, shouting and laughing.
Our vast height difference does not lend itself well to dancing, so we opted to do a “first duet” instead. We sang the song “Without You” by AJ Rafael, a song which I sang to Mike on Skype while we were long-distance, and made him cry. Mike was on guitar and I played piano.
For our honeymoon we went on a cooking holiday in the Loire Valley in France. This was a real treat for us as we’re nuts about French food. We were the only guests at the B&B as we went mid-week, and Lesley went out of her way to make things especially lovely for us! We enjoyed every moment of it and would totally recommend it to anyone else looking for a more hands-on holiday.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that a spectacular wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth – we managed to source most of our decorations from eBay and Amazon, or supermarkets and discount shops like Home Bargains. High street stores also turned up some pretty surprising and budget-friendly clothing finds for the wedding party! Putting a bit of elbow grease and creativity into the preparations also helped cut costs, and we’re grateful for all the incredible friends we had around to lend us a DIY-hand. Finally, don’t worry too much about having to put on a spectacular show to impress the guests – they turned up to celebrate “us” in all our quirkiness and loved how much the wedding reflected our wacky personalities!
November 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s Frrrrrrrrrrrrrriday! Let’s celebrate with this sweet Yorkshire/ Italian celebration in Leeds, sent to me by newlyweds Faye and Rob and Brides Up North Sponsor Jane of JB Creatives.
Limoncellos on ice for a moment though, as I’ve to tell you about Jane’s shiny new website, which has just landed over at www.jbcreatives.co.uk. Go see! To celebrate, she’s offering a free engagement shoot to all those couples who book their full day wedding photography before the end of the year. Quote love stories to get involved.
But for now, it’s all about today’s pretty wedding.
With images by JB Creatives.
faye says: Rob asked me to marry him on a private boat off the coast of Paxos, Greece in August 2013, and we were married on 5th April 2014 at St Stephen’s Church, Kirkstall. Our reception was at Kirkstall Abbey then The Gatehouse.
We had one of our first dates there and have both always loved it. We never even considered another venue!
We opted for a Yorkshire meets Italy theme (having previously lived in Milan together), using lemon and turquoise as base colours for the scheme.
I wore Maggie Sottero “Cassidy” dress from Angel Brides, Horsforth and my bridesmaids were in turquoise Jenny Packham. I carried a simple lemon rose bouquet with stems from Rose & Bud Flowers, Horsforth.
Rob wore a royal blue morning suit, a white shirt and a Jeff Banks navy and turquoise flowered tie.
We put together a sweet table from Haribo (as I am from Pontefract) and our favours were Italian-themed Limoncello and Disaronno mini bottles. Rob also made cartoon place-settings for every guest.
We were entertained by the Otley Ukulele Orchestra, followed by a DJ in the evening.
We chose an iced chocolate cake with caricatures made by a family friend, Lucy.
My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle to Rob, and Rob’s was performing our personalised first dance, which I choreographed. The crowd reaction was amazing!
For our honeymoon we visited Bangkok and Koh Samui, Thailand and then Singapore.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to chill out – It’s all very doable and you don’t need years to do it! We organised it in 9 months.
September 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m looking forward to joining my friend and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple to host a question and answer session at her Editorial Wedding Workshop this afternoon.
Nerves? Nah, I’m saving those for this.
Whilst I’m off on official duties, I thought I’d leave this especially sweetLeeds based DIY vintage travel themed wedding in my pace for you to enjoy. Jess and Sam styled their big day their way, to beautiful and individual effect. Super cool.
With images by Mark Dolby Photography.
Jess says: Sam proposed after an amazing evening out in Leeds. The story starts with an unfortunate incident of a pair of my tights getting stuck to chewing gum on a seat in a bar – they compensated us by gifting us a bottle of wine and we decided to make a night of it! We went for a few drinks and then some amazing tapas. When we left the restaurant Sam realised he had left his scarf in one of the earlier bars so on the way back we had to cross the Millennium Bridge in Leeds. He got out some photos of us at various places we’d been to since we got together and some pegs out of his pocket and suggested we count the bars on the bridge and peg photos to them. Once we ran out of photos we hit a bar with a padlock on it. The padlock had our initials on it and the lyrics from a Weezer song – “I think I’d be good for you, and you’d be good for me” when I turned to look at Sam he was down on one knee with a ring asking if I’d marry him.
We got married on 16th August 2014 at the iconic Town Hall and had our reception at the beautiful Leeds Club on Albion Place. We chose the Leeds Club because it’s a gorgeous building with amazing features. The Leeds Club also blew us away with their organisational skills. We wanted somewhere with an old soul but could throw a great party and I think we cracked it with the Leeds Club.
Our wedding had a travel theme to it. We chose travel as a theme as it is one of our shared passions in life. In the first 2 months of getting together we flew from Leeds to California to see Weezer play and that set the tone for the rest of our relationship.
All the flowers were made from old maps, this included table flowers, bouquet and buttonholes. The centrepieces were placed on squares made of material with maps on them. All the tables were named after cities we had visited and our table plan was on a map. Our invitations and programmes were designed like airline paper.
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme but because of our travel theme, the maps and the blue and red airline paper did play a part in dictating colours. I decided to use maps for the flowers because they would add pattern and colour to the bloom without being uniform or too prescribed.
My wedding dress was Sia by Coast. I tried on probably around 50 dresses and couldn’t find one that had the right balance of being bridal but practical. Then I found Coast! I was in love with the Sia dress but they didn’t have any more in my size across the country. The personal shopper called every store across England but it wasn’t in stock. But luckily someone was selling one on eBay in my size. With a few alterations to the length, it was perfect!
My shoes were from Irregular Choice. They are my favourite shoe brand and loved seeing them peep out from under my dress as we walked through town!
Sam’s suit was a favourite he has from Marks and Spencer. He bought the matching waistcoat and then chose a snappy shirt from Next. His shirt was a beautiful geometric pattern in red and white with a red tie. Sam had a tan belt and same colour shoes from Berwick’s.
Sam is really keen on ethical purchasing so he gave a lot of his choices a lot of thought and this included his underwear. In the end Sam chose items from ‘Pants To Poverty’. These became quite a talking point at the reception when I mentioned them in my speech!
As explained, I carried a bouquet that I had made from maps. I got designs from various craft blogs online and over a few nights perfected my flower crafting. My bouquet had about 50 flowers in it made from maps. I bought a shoebox of maps from eBay and used about 90% of the contents. The rest of the maps can be useful for our next adventure!
We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen but I did make buttonholes for all the family so they could have them in their hair (for the ladies) or in their suits (for the gents). Sam’s Dad also chose the same shirt and tie combo as Sam. That was a lovely touch.
I travelled from our home in Leeds to the Town Hall with my brother, sister and brother’s girlfriend in Mercedes town car that we booked. It was an E Class and very plush. Then between the Town Hall and the Leeds Club we walked between the venues. We had a few girl ushers (or Gushers, as I nicknamed them) to help guide guests as to the venue.
This was a lot of fun because another wedding had booked a Rolls Royce that was sat outside the Town Hall when we left and everyone expected us to get in. As we walked off everyone was very confused! Eventually as people started to cotton on that it wasn’t our car they then convinced us to go back for photos! So to the couple that paid for that car- if you see any photos of us by the side of your Rolls on your wedding day- I am so sorry!
It was great that we did walk though as luckily on that day Fosters were doing a promotion and giving out cans of beer right between our two venues! All our guests got a freebie on the walk between. People kept thanking us for arranging it!
Our photographer was Mark Dolby and he was incredible. He was so much a part of the day he was like a guest- but he was also doing all the work! He arrived hours before we had booked him so that he could be prepared and stayed much later than we agreed because we over ran! He made us feel so comfortable and happy. He captured loads of amazing natural and reportage style shots, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a few classic group shots but we were sold on his style of ‘in the moment’ photos and they were absolutely amazing. Thank you so much Mark!
He also had around 85 photos ready for us to look through by the meal time so that they could be on a slide show in the bar at the Leeds Club- the guests loved it and kept complementing us on what lovely photos. Plus they felt famous being on the big screen in a gorgeous bar!
I made a centrepiece for each of the tables, which included a table name on a luggage tag that was displayed in an empty bottle of beer. Sam is a beer connoisseur so he chose each beer bottle carefully! There were a lot of samples for that decoration!
Around each table name there were three bottles with my map flowers placed inside and candles. All of this was also placed on a square of map material. We also had maps cut into hearts sprinkled onto each table as table confetti. Each guest had their place name on a luggage tag that I had sewn with some map material.
For our cards and guest book table there were more flowers made of maps and a suitcase for cards. The suitcase came from my friend’s house when they moved in and must be over 50 years old. I also made the cards bunting sign from old maps.
Sam’s Mum gave me some decorations from his Grandmother’s wedding in 1947. They also were used in Sam’s parent’s wedding so I framed them so that they could have a special place in our wedding.
I made most the decorations myself but the Leeds Club put all of them out. They were so helpful! We delivered all the bits on Friday morning with set up instructions and they put them out perfectly!
We are in love with this bakery called That Old Chestnut in Leeds. It is a vegan bakery and they basically work in cake magic. The first time we tried their cake at a fair in Leeds we knew we would have them! The question was what flavour cake! In the end we couldn’t decide so we had 6!
Triple Chocolate, Stem Ginger, Lemon Drizzle, Carrot, Coffee and Walnut and Chocolate Torte.
We were a bit nervous we had gone overboard on the cake so we provided cake-away boxes in case anyone wanted to take some home and by the end of the night there was nothing but some crumbs (which I ate while we were saying “bye” to our last guests!).
We didn’t do favours but we did have a lot of cake and let people take any of the table flowers home with them. There wasn’t any table flowers by the end of the party and lots of guests had worked them into their hair. It was fantastic! That was exactly what we hoped!
We chose a hot fork buffet by the Leeds Club because we like the informal style of choosing from a buffet on the day but knew that a hot meal would be needed! The food was delicious; when we came for a menu tasting we were so excited!! We provided wines through Sam’s Mum and Dad. They introduced us to this brilliant Pinot Noir from Aldi and a Spanish White wine that Sam’s mum loves.
Our DJs were incredible. I know them from my work and they really did us a massive favour by DJing. The speeches over ran so they couldn’t get into the room to set up the equipment until an hour late, but they still started the party on time.
I first met one of the DJs when I hired him for a job in the bar I worked in when he was 18 and a few months old- he is now working on his PhD in Southampton and came back to Leeds just to DJ for us!
Sam and I went out for some last minute portraits before our first dance and when we came back the dance floor was packed- we had to clear a space for the first which was Diana Ross’ “Upside Down”.
After our first dance everyone was back on the floor and didn’t stop until the end. Even then there were chants for “one more tune!” A big thanks to Aarran Shaw and Sam Ryder for accommodating us!
We added lots of special touches to our day, but two stand out in particular.
I did a speech at our wedding. I think it is becoming more common for Bride’s to speak at their wedding and I can see why. It is so great to add your different perspective on the day and what you had thought in the run up. It was also great because I could mention some of the important people who couldn’t be there for various reasons – like our Grandmothers who I know would have loved to see the day.
We chose two readings at the Town Hall, which really helped personalise the ceremony. Our friends Lauren and Susy read an extract from Dr Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and our friend Dave did an acoustic cover of the Magnetic Fields “The Book of Love” – he put lots of energy in to the final chorus and took it up an octave. The crowd went wild!
The people at the Town Hall were absolutely incredible. The lady who prepared and signed the register with us – Nancy, was retiring after our wedding and it felt so special to be her last couple. As she explained the register to us as we signed our names she had a lump in her throat saying the words. It was an incredible moment.
We would strongly recommend the Leeds Club. It is a beautiful, historic location but also incredibly well placed. Very easy for guests to find but also easy for them to find their hotels! The team at the Leeds Club will also bend over backwards for you. They did so much to help us prepare for our big day- a big thank you especially to Karen Hiscoe, Ellie and Laura.
My favourite part of the day was when Sam and I met before we went to the Town Hall in the Leeds Central Library. It was a bit of a risk as they had previously told us we’d need permission for photos there. I was starting to get nervous when I arrived at the Library and fell up the stairs as I walked in (much hilarity ensued for my siblings!). But when Sam and I saw each other, all the nerves disappeared and we were just so happy.
We took some photos and walked across to the Town Hall. It felt so calm and natural to walk in together with all our friends and family there. The emotions came back as we walked down the aisle though. Truly amazing.
For our honeymoon, we went to one of our most favourite places in the world- Barcelona. Viva Espana! We hired a flat in Barceloneta with a view of the sea and spent the week drinking cava, relaxing on the beach and seeing art! Perfecto! Randomly two of our close friends were also in Barcelona at the time so we had them over for dinner at the flat one night and it was great to get their view on the wedding! Our photographer- Mark, had also been to Barcelona the week before so he gave us some great tips on some art to see.
We loved our wedding so much and had an absolute ball! I have probably a hundred top tips for other Brides Up North. Seeing your partner before you walk down the aisle is so special. Just go with the flow on the day. When we planned the day I was nervous about fitting all the bits in- they didn’t fit in, and it didn’t matter! We were late but that was ok!
Make sure you get plenty of water – it’s amazing how dehydrated you can feel from the nerves.
June 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon’s real bride Nicola is a lady after my own heart. Can you guess what our mutual favourite colour is? Once, in another life when I was a practising lawyer I asked my sister in law the same question and she guessed grey. Honestly! I think I knew right then that I was in the wrong job.
Anyway, my life got a lot more colourful after that (thank god) and things are always, always prettier in pink. Isn’t that right, Nicola?
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
Nicola says: We went to Brighton for a long weekend in July 2012. We were getting ready for a meal out and I had taken time doing my hair and makeup. Just as we were leaving Silas said I didn’t look quite right, there was something missing. I was a little annoyed until he got down on one knee and proposed!
We got married on 3rd May. No specific reason but as it turned out was quite a nervous day for the groom. His beloved Notts Country were in a relegation battle… luckily for me, they survived to fight another season…
We chose the Woodlands Hotel in Leeds, it’s a beautiful venue with a marquee. There are only twenty three rooms which means it felt like we had the whole hotel to ourselves. Lauren the wedding planner at the hotel was fab at suggesting extra things to make the day even more special.
Through the whole planning process, nothing was too much trouble and on the day, they fully kept me informed of everything. The food was amazing, the rooms immaculate and the hotel and grounds itself were better than I had remembered. All this made it a perfect day.
The colour scheme was pink and ivory. I love pink – it’s my favourite colour!
My dress was a strapless gown with satin bust and lace to the floor. I actually bought it from a wedding fair at the NEC. It was too big to start with but then I got pregnant and Evie (our daughter) was only four months old when we got married and the dress didn’t need too much taking in! I tried so many different dresses on – the style I though I would want looks silly on me as I am only 5ft – but fell in love with my dress as soon as I put it on.
The bridesmaids wore floor length chiffon dresses from Ted Baker. They were beautiful. The groomsmen work the same suits as the groom, which was a grey morning suit and an ivory tie from Young’s Formal Hire.
I chose pink peonies for myself and white peonies for the bridesmaids. Sally at Serendipity Flowers did them and they were beautiful.
My work colleague offered to drive us to the wedding as he has a selection of vintage cars! How lucky!
It was a cream Morris Minor Moggy convertible. It had red leather interior and was stunning! The weather was amazing on the day and we travelled from the church to the Woodlands with the roof down. Good job I had plenty of hairspray on.
Hayley Baxter Photography did the photographs. I couldn’t have chosen anyone better to capture our special day. She put us at ease and the pictures are so much better than I could have imagined.
Helen Archer was my make up artist and did an amazing job! I wanted something subtle and feminine… and it lasted all day & night.
I wanted a clean fresh & modern look for the marquee – I chose to make a feature of the gorgeous bouquet’s & peonies by placing them in vases on the top table.
For favours, I chose Yankee Candles in Wedding Day for all the ladies and Silas got betting slips for all the men for football matches on the closing day of the season for the men… I am not aware of any winners!
My chief bridesmaid and best friend Jodie and her family bought us the wedding cake as a gift. Netty’s Cakes made it for us. We chose a three tier cake made of chocolate and plain sponge with a frosting which started off dark and then graduated lighter, all in shades of pink of course. I am not a massive fan of fruit cake and so I went for sponge instead.
We had a band called The Saints and they were great! The dance floor was full and they played some good crowd pleasing songs. Looking back, I am not sure if we asked for Gangnam Style or Cotton Eye Jo but hey, people seemed to enjoy it.
My favourite part of the day was dancing with all my friends. It was quite emotional, it was nearly the end of the night and all the hard work and planning was nearly over. I enjoyed spending that time with the people who had helped me to make the day so great.
For our honeymoon we went to Crete. We took Evie with us so we didn’t want to go too far.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning! I really enjoyed planning of the wedding as much as I enjoyed the day. Its all so special.
Congratulations Nicola & Silas!
This is not a sponsored post
February 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jane of JB Creatives is one talented chick. Not content with her thriving photography business, she can also make sure your guests turn up for the wedding too with her stunning bespoke wedding stationery! Like it says on the tin, this girl is super creative. Get her involved in your big day, for I can vouch that whatever she turns her hand to, it’ll be very, very beautiful (and pretty cool too).
There’s also a special little offer exclusive to Brides Up North readers on the table too… read on!
Images by JB Creatives, of course.
What is the story behind JB Creatives?
JB Creatives started in 2009 after plenty of encouragement and enthusiasm from friends and family to make the leap and make my dream a reality. With a background in Design and Photography my stationery is very much influenced by my strong Graphic roots. I love beautiful typography and different papers, textures and colours and it seemed the perfect way to make a living doing something I love. Don’t get me wrong, it’s more than cutting and sticking pretty bits of paper together; there are long hours and lots of dedication. Every second has been worth it as now it’s a year-round occupation that keeps me busy 24/7. There are just not enough hours in the day!
Who is a JB Creatives bride?
There are all kinds of JB Creatives brides. From small family weddings to big stately home weddings, we welcome all kinds of clients.
Where are you based?
I am based in Otley just outside Leeds. I work by appointment only where couples can come see examples of previous stationery and discuss the sort of stationery they want for their day. I also get a lot of my bookings online. These initial enquiries are usually about a design they have already seen on my website but can soon lead to a totally new design once we’ve chatted about their wedding plans.
Tell us about the range of gorgeous designs on your website?
As the stationery is bespoke you can have the minimum and just order invites or you might want to get absolutely everything in whichever design you have chosen. I design and hand make everything from the save the dates, invitations and RSVPs, orders of service, table plans, place names, table menus and individual menus to the thank you cards and even baby announcements after the wedding day! All the designs including those on the website are available in the whole range from save the dates to thank you cards.
What style of stationery designs are popular at the moment?
There are so many lovely styles around at the moment here at JB Creatives HQ we have found our square invites with plain bands or lace bands very popular. Along with the New York style invites.
What other products do you offer?
I offer all stationery requirements; save the dates, invites, rsvp, order of services, table menus, individual menus, place names, table/seating plans, favour tags and thank you cards and any other stationery items you might wish. I also have some large decorative frames and props for displaying table plans which are available to hire. You can also see my wedding photography on my website too.
What would be your top tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery?
Your stationery is the first thing that your guests will see to do with your wedding, it sets the tone for the big day itself. So make it personal to your day and to you! Have one theme or style in mind and stick to it. Don’t get too mixed up with too many different styles.
So, does all the stationery have to match?
Stationery doesn’t have to match. I would normally make it all to match but it really depends on the sort of look you’re going for. Most stationery would use the same card, ribbon or font to give a consistent look and in that sense it matches, but its by no means compulsory!
What are your prices like?
Please get in touch to receive the price guide; there are so many designs that the price range depending on the style of stationery. The invitations are priced per item and start at as little as £3.80 each.
Which designs are your bestsellers?
Of the more off the shelf invites I do, the New York wedding invitations seem to be popular at the moment, usually because that is where the couples got engaged. The square pocket fold invitations are also popular. These are a great invitation as not only are they like opening a present but they can be made in a variety of colours, paper and ribbons so they work for all colour themes. They also have space for plenty of additional information inserts as you may wish to tell your guests lots of little details. Beer mat save the dates and beer mat place names have also proved popular. I’ve had lots of lovely feedback from couples on how many guests have raved about the beautiful invitations.
What sets JB Creatives apart from its competitors?
This beautifully bespoke stationery is designed and hand made to the highest quality. If you want something a little different designing from scratch I can do that. I love it when a couple come to me with a sweet story of where or how they got engaged, this can then be incorporated into their stationery. I designed some wedding stationery for a couple that had a little red car on everything as they met when Ian, the groom, sold his car to Martha, the bride, so it was a lovely thing to incorporate into their stationery! With a design background I have created lots of bespoke illustrated maps for the invitations too. I’m also a perfectionist so all the little details are taken care of.
How long do you take to turn around an order?
I would usually ask my clients to allow 3-4 weeks from the initial call to the delivered items. These are all hand made – you can’t rush perfection!
How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?
Anything else we should know?
If you order your invitations, place names and order of services (minimum order 45 invites) I will give you a free table menu for each table (1 per table free).
Please order your stationery before 14th March to receive one of these exclusive offers and quote Brides Up North when doing so.
Why do you read the Brides Up North blog?
For the varied wedding inspiration. There’s always something beautiful to look at on the Brides Up North pages.
January 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jane of JB Creatives is one of the loveliest girls I know (do I say that about all my Featured Suppliers? Only when it’s true)! She’s a dab hand both at the wedding stationery table – check out her website for more details – and behind the camera too. Today, we are concentrating on her wedding photography talents, so lets meet her and check out a rather stunning sample of her work. Oh, and she might just have flung a little freebie in there especially for Brides Up North readers too…
JB Creatives is offering a free engagement shoot to those couples who book their wedding photography with Jane before 13/03/14. Please quote Brides Up North when booking.
How did you get into wedding photography?
I have always loved being creative and doing all things arty. I studied my art foundation course at Leeds College of Art and Design, where I took a more detailed interest in what had always been a hobby. I then went on to study Graphic Communication at Uni in Cardiff. As well as studying Design principles we used SLR cameras and learnt how to develop our own film in the dark room, which was an amazing thing to have done.
Many years after finishing my degree, whilst working as a graphic designer a good friend asked me if I would photograph her wedding. I was terrified and didn’t sleep for weeks before their big day! I read so many books on wedding photography, practiced on every willing friend I had and made sure I was fully prepared before their wedding day… the day came and went so quickly and I absolutely loved it. It felt really lovely knowing that I’d captured their moment in time, that it could be revisited for years to come. But best of all they were over the moon with the photos! And so began my thirst for capturing perfect love stories.
One of the guests at that first wedding asked me to photograph their wedding and so the ball started rolling. Since then I have photographed just over 50 weddings, enjoyed every one of them and now I have the privilege of doing it full time!
Why wedding photography specifically?
I’m a romantic and I love photographing people. So doing what I do means I get to see so many beautiful people on one of the most important days of their lives. To be able to tell their beautiful love story through the photos is a real honour.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer, it would be hard to pick one favourite thing. I obviously love taking photos, composing a picture and telling stories with them. But I also love all the emotions that come with a wedding day: the father’s face as he proudly walks his little girl down the aisle; the groom seeing his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle towards him; all the smiles and laughter; the speeches; I love all the small details that put together make every wedding unique… It’s hard to pick one specific thing as it’s more a collection of all the little things that together make it such a special thing to be able to do.
How do you get couples to relax on the day?
I’m a gentle, friendly sort of person. I talk to all the couples I have the pleasure of photographing as if they were friends. I meet all the couples before the wedding day itself to get to know one another beforehand. You’d be surprised how many people forget I have a camera with me.
An engagement shoot is also a great way to get used to the camera before the day itself. I find it helps a lot of the couples I photograph as they have already spent time in front of the camera together and seen the results.
Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?
Just relax and enjoy your day. After all the preparation and planning your day has finally arrived, you will look beautiful so will have nothing to worry about.
What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?
Someone once said your wedding makeup should be the best version of your self, so don’t wear anything you wouldn’t normally wear. Have a make-up trail before your wedding to ensure you’ll be happy with it on the day. But most of all a bride should wear whatever makeup she feels comfortable and confident in wearing and whatever makes her feel beautiful, her inner beauty will then shine out and that’s what will make the photos great.
Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?
I would have loved to have photographed Kate and Will’s wedding!! Kate being the fashion icon she is and Will being our handsome prince, that would have been something to be proud of!
Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?
I know most weddings follow the same structure but it’s so lovely to see how each couple make it their own. I photographed a wedding on a gorgeous day last August at The Cheerful Chilli, Otley, the bride and groom, Hayley and Adam, decided on the day to have the speeches outside which was beautiful as everyone just sat in the venue’s garden with their glass of sparkle, as the speeches were given in the sunshine. It was lovely.
At a different wedding at Wood Hall, James, the groom, knew he would get emotional (and possibly cry) as he spoke about his bride, so he wrote everything down on big sheets of paper before hand then held them up for everyone to read. He did it really well, I don’t think there was anyone in the room that wasn’t moved by it.
Another summer wedding was at East Riddlesden Hall Barn and Rachel, the bride had a Wuthering Heights theme. She hand made so many amazing little details that filled the barn with colour and texture.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
With a background in Design I like to think I compose a photograph well. I don’t limit the number of photos I give my clients but give them as many photos as possible so I can tell the story to its fullest. I also design and make wedding stationery so I am sometimes involved from an earlier stage in the planning process and get a better idea of how the wedding will look on the day. But perhaps the best way to answer this question is to direct you to my testimonials page on my website. I’ve had some really amazing feedback.
What can a couple who book you expect on the day?
On more than a couple of occasions I’ve been described as a photo ninja! I don’t do any kind of fancy foot work or back flips anywhere, I’m just very discreet, and apparently seem to be in more than one place at the same time! The only time I would lightly direct any photos is for the bride and groom photos and if the couple wanted any group shots. My style is very much documenting the day. I don’t like to be intrusive and so am very much a fly on the wall for most of the day.
What is included in your “package”?
I will be there to capture the story of the day from the excited bridal preparations in the morning through to the romantic first dance. The couple will then receive the high resolution edited images, usually around 600-800 photos about 6-8 weeks after the wedding day. A selection of the images will also go onto an online password protected gallery the details of which can be passed on to friends and family to view the pictures and purchase prints. You can add on an engagement shoot, select from a range of albums and lots more lovely extras if you wish.
Can you give us an idea on price?
Photography coverage on the day starts at £1,250. Please get in touch to receive more information and the price guide.
Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
I can offer a free engagement shoot to those couples who book their wedding photography with me before 13/03/14. Please quote Brides Up North when booking.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
You can see examples of my work on my website my blog is updated regularly www.jbcreatives.co.uk
Anything else we should know?
Not only do I have the pleasure of photographing so many beautiful weddings but I also design and make bespoke wedding stationery, you can see examples of these on my website.
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