Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

food and flowers. a night at the mansion with dine

March 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Food and Flowers at The Mansion (12)

We’re fortunate to host our Luxury Wedding Shows at some of the north’s finest wedding venues, including The Mansion in Leeds – a truly gorgeous stately home set within Roundhay Park.

Not only is this venue beautiful on both the inside and out, but it also boasts first class catering and wedding planning services provided by hospitality and event experts Dine.

Ahead of our spring wedding fair at The Mansion this Sunday (which we are SUPER excited about!), the Dine team invited us to experience the incredible food and service that they deliver to wedding couples at the venue during a Dine Ambassadors’ Dinner.

With images by 123 Photography.

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Joined by fellow wedding professionals, we were told to expect an evening of “food & flowers” – two of our very favourite things – and so we were highly intrigued as to what lay in store.

Much to our delight, the event began with a floral crown making workshop, hosted by wedding floristry specialist Twisted Willow. Owner director (and all-round flower wizard) Joanna Cairns demonstrated creative uses for the armfuls of flowers, berries and foliage that span across the tables in The Mansion’s Garden Room Café, before we were let loose on the roaming piles of roses, ranunculus and hydrangeas.

Each of the ladies present, including ourselves, fully embraced the challenge by carefully wiring the stunning blooms to create some really bold and beautiful designs. To brides-to-be out there toying with the option of a flower crown for their big day, we simply say, do it! Nothing feels quite as pretty (or strangely, as empowering) as a beautiful ring of florals to top off your attire!

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After a sea of selfies to show off our horticultural creations, it was onto the ‘food’ element of the evening, and boy we’re we in for a treat! Bucking the new year trend of abstinence, the canapes and three-course meal followed a theme of indulgence with chocolate cleverly incorporated into every course.

A treat for all the senses, each stage of the meal was beautifully presented and the aromas were nothing short of divine, not to mention the taste!

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After canapes of venison tartare on chocolate spätzle discs; ham hock and smoked Wensleydale croquette with apple gel, and Caprini goats cheese cones with tomato and dill concase and fig and balsamic caviar, we took our seats at beautifully dressed tables in The Mansion’s Colonnades Room for the main event.

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Each course was served with paired wines, supplied by Hoults wine merchants, to educate and excite our taste buds further. To start, we served crab and saffron risotto, pan fried scallops and tempura soft shell crab, followed by a main course of fallow deer with spiced Umbrain lentils, choucroute, smoked kale and chocolate jus. And as if we weren’t already in food heaven, the best was yet to come – dessert! As part of an ‘indulgence’ menu we were particularly looking forward to the sweet course, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Dark chocolate and rosemary tart with fennel ice-cream, orange sherbet and baked white chocolate – pure pudding perfection!

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The whole evening was a true treat that showcased The Mansion’s stunning rooms, whilst inviting us to learn a new skill and sample the incredible cuisine created by Dine’s awarding-winning chefs. Foodies and fans of fine interiors alike will fall head over heels for this wonderful venue as we do time and time again!

So, if all that’s left you with an appetite to find out more about The Mansion, be sure to join us this Sunday, 11am to 3pm, when we will be filling the rooms of this stunning boutique-style venue with handpicked wedding suppliers to help you build your dream big day. The event is FREE ENTRY and we have 150 free Bride To Be VIP media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North, to give away to those that register for the event first. Just click here to do so.

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autumn amour. maggie sottero for a chic urban wedding in leeds – rachel & robin

December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s chic city real wedding simply exudes elegance. There’s a stunning Maggie Sottero dress, a gorgeous autumnal colour palette and an organic, woodland theme.

There was also plenty of personality to this stylish wedding too, with nods to the groom’s love of owls, Cockney rhyming slang table names and a real ale special brew called ‘Old Legover’!

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography

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rachel says: Robin’s proposal centred around an owl theme. He has a particular passion for owls – since he was a child he collected all things owl. It has turned into a running joke that owls are literally taking over our house, so it was no surprise that they featured quite heavily in Robin’s proposal. Robin went to great lengths to set out an owl-themed treasure hunt, which went on for a few weeks (!) and, led by a number of clues, I found Robin under the ‘Owl of Justice’ – a carved owl that can be found at the back of the Civic Hall in Leeds, where Robin proposed and we later got married.

Our wedding date was the 9th September 2016. We both love autumn and wanted a natural earthy wedding. The weather also always seems to be lovely in Leeds in September, so we were lucky to secure the date when we did.

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We got married in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Hall in Leeds city centre. We chose the venue for obvious reasons (hello gold owls!) but we were both so stunned at how beautiful the hall is once you get inside. We even decided to have a drinks reception after the ceremony to make the most of our time there. We really wanted to have our reception somewhere close to where we got married and settled on the Devonshire Hall in Headingley, to have our party; an amazingly grand hall of residence, which forms part of the University of Leeds. We loved the blank canvas of the dining hall and the design of the building is so lovely with the cloisters and outside space. We both got a great feel from the place when we visited so it was an easy decision.

In terms of theme, we’re big lovers of the great outdoors and our vision was for a woodland/autumnal/natural style of wedding. If we’d been brave enough (and my mum had allowed us!) we’d have had our reception in the woods, so this was a good compromise.

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Our colour scheme was navy and gold and, fitting with the autumnal theme, the groomsmen wore navy suits with a variety of dark gold and burnt orange accessories. My sister is a personal stylist so she helped choose the bridesmaid dresses, and navy is a gorgeous universal colour that looks great on everyone. I’m also a big fan of a bit of sparkle so gold shoes were a must!

If I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the wedding dress shopping – I had no idea what I wanted and felt a bit nervous about it all. When I walked into the first bridal shop (the wonderful Bridal Boutique in Baildon) I knew that the first dress that I saw would be the one I’d wear. I tried on all sorts of different styles anyway – and was surprised by how much I loved the huge princess dresses! But I settled for the first dress: Vidonia by Maggie Sottero. Such gorgeous detailing and I felt so comfortable in it, I knew it had to be the one. I cancelled my next booking!

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Robin and the groomsmen wore three-piece navy Ted Baker suits, which we hired from Moss Bros. We got the bowties and ties, made from knitted English silk, from the website Swagger & Swoon.

The bridesmaids wore A-line navy dresses from Coast and they each chose their own gold shoes. As a thank you for being my best women, I got them all engraved bangles made by the fab Libby Jubb Jewellery. They had a little birdy charm on them which matched the turtle doves I wore in my hair. Hannah De Ath and Annabel Bailey also did a fantastic job with hair and make-up and made my mum, bridesmaids and me feel like a million dollars.

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lilac & lilies. a super stylish wedding at the leeds club – rachel & tom

October 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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When we first set eyes on today’s real wedding we were totally blown away by the bride’s cool and individual style, perfectly showcasing how to make your big day attire your own.

Wearing an insanely beautiful lilac, bias-cut silk dress, Rachel exudes Hollywood glamour by the bucket load, completing her look with a sparking birdcage veil headpiece and shower style bouquet. We love!

As the couple’s stylish choice of venue didn’t have a marriage license, Rachel and Tom made things legal with a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall a few days previous, and yes, they looked flippin’ gorgeous for that bit too!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged on 29th February 2012, at the Bier Keller in Leeds. We’d randomly gone there for a drink after. After a discussion about wedding and such things, I decided to ask Tom to marry me, we had been together for five years after all. He said yes and we both got quite emotional. I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s engagement ring so we didn’t have to buy one.

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We had our legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on 18th May 2015, as unfortunately the venue we wanted to have our wedding at didn’t have a licence to marry us there. We then had a blessing at The Leeds Club on 29th May, as part of our wedding celebrations. I always remember walking past the venue as a child and seeing the business men in the wing back chairs and being really fascinated as to what was inside.

We chose lilac and sage green for the wedding scheme, as we wanted colours that would complement the venue and that also matched my dress.

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I was lucky enough to have two wedding dresses as we had the two ceremonies. For the town hall I wore head to toe Vivienne Westwood. For the blessing, I was fortunate enough to have a bespoke dress from the amazing Glory Days, in York. My dress was based on 1940’s Hollywood glamour and the dresses worn by Joan Crawford. It was lilac bias cut silk, with an open back and fishtail train. It was the best dress ever.

Tom wore a suit from River Island for the town hall and then a three-piece 60’s style, royal blue suit from Topman for the blessing.

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Both my bridesmaids have very different styles, so I asked them to wear their favourite dresses. Jules made her own 1940’s style cocktail dress and Suzanne wore a floor-length maxi dress from Seraphina.

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gorgeous grandeur. pops of copper for a wedding at left bank leeds – courtney & vicky

September 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (25)

There are several elements to today’s real wedding that evoke the word “wow”.

The fabulously planned surprise proposal for one (excellent work Courtney), not to mention the a-maz-ing reception venue, and then the fact that the couple managed to get one of their favourite bands to travel all the way from California to play at their wedding. Impressed? Us too!

Now let’s start by hearing that proposal story…

With images by Yolande De Vries Photography.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (52)

courtney says: I proposed to Vicky at Cottage Road Cinema in Leeds on 4th May 2014. Cottage Rd Cinema was one of the places we went to on our first dates and is only a two minute walk from our house.

On the day of the proposal Vicky had planned to meet a group of friends in Headingley for lunch and a few drinks as a belated birthday celebration. I had suggested the two of us go to a student short film festival at Cottage Road Cinema before lunch and told her I had pre booked tickets. When we got to the cinema we were given a glass of prosecco each (we were told it was complimentary with ticket as part of the student film festival). When we got in the previews were already on and we stumbled to a few seats in the back.

When the first “short film” came on it was set to the song Skinnybones by Sea of Bees, which always reminds us of when we first got together. So instantly Vicky knew I was up to something but had no idea it was more than just a film. Part way through the very short film (it was probably only about 20 seconds of footage) text appeared that said, Victoria Hayhurst I adore you. Let’s be together forever? I then pulled out the ring I had designed as a cork popped from a bottle of bubbly, the lights went up and all our friends jumped up and yelled surprise! Vicky burst into tears, when she saw everyone and then again when she saw the ring and realised what was going on. We all had more prosecco, chatted and then walked to the restaurant we were all booked into for lunch and had a lovely day.

Exactly a year later Vicky surprised me on a walk through the woods by giving me my engagement ring at a spot that means a lot to us.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (68)

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (77)

We got married on 27th June 2015, at Leeds Town Hall because I love the building and Leeds is where we met. The reception was held at Left Bank Leeds which is an amazing Grade II* listed former church building near to where Vicky lived as a student and where I rented when I first moved to Leeds. Before we found the venue I had wanted a grand but dilapidated building, with prosecco and exquisite canapés being served and a jazz band playing. Left Bank Leeds wasn’t dilapidated but still had the sense of grandeur I desired.

Our colour scheme was black, white, grey and navy with accents of copper. I chose these because they’re my favourite colours (I don’t really do colour!). I didn’t set a dress code but asked that everyone wore black, white, grey or navy. Everyone looks good in those colours and copper was a colour of the moment and added a bit of contrast for an extra pop.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (100)

In terms of my wedding attire, I made my own skirt and drafted the pattern myself. It was a full length, high waited skirt with wide waste band, concealed back zip and side pockets (for my phone) in a French navy silk from Joel & Son Fabrics in London. I chose the fabric with my best friends Vicky, Franny and Alexa. I wore the skirt with a customised white sleeveless top that I bought at Cos when I was in Berlin with Franny and Alexa.

Vicky wore French navy wide legged trousers from Crombie and a white asymmetrical sleeveless top by Vivienne Westwood.

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our love story: sarah & dave

May 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (16)

Sometimes things are just meant to be – and judging by how today’s couple got together we’d say it was written in the stars for these two.

Taking place in the urban surroundings of Leeds city centre, husband and wife-to-be Dave and Sarah, wanted their pre-wedding shoot, which they are sharing with us today, to be cool, edgy and fun. Given all the giggles, smiles and laughter, it looks like their photographer Jenny, nailed the brief.

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (12)

sarah says: Dave proposed while we were in Ibiza at a beautiful restaurant called Sa Capella, which we return to each year! It was a complete surprise to me, and very emotional, as I’d always said after losing my dad I couldn’t do it without him walking me down the aisle.

We plan to marry on my dad’s birthday this year at Leeds Town Hall and will then move onto The Liquorist for the reception. We don’t want lots of fuss – just a cool event to round together everyone we love and who has had a positive impact on our time together.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (11)

We first met 16 years ago in a club that neither of us have ever been back to! I was with the girls, hitting the dancefloor – and that’s where I met Dave. We laughed and chatted most of the night – my first words to him were “Ooo you’re a mover”! We never kissed or exchanged numbers. However, after that night he had a work placement in Leeds (the only time he’s ever worked in Leeds city centre) and he walked past Toni & Guy where I worked at the time, hoping to catch me. He saw me through the window, laughing with a client and sent me a calla lily with a note asking to see me again.

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understated elegance. jenny packham for an elegant wedding at oulton hall

December 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Sarah Mason Photography (41)

It might be Monday, but it’s the last Monday before Christmas which makes it bearable, right? And to ease you into these last few working days before the festive break we have something truly beautiful to share with you – the wedding of Lauren and Lee.

Now this is a couple with impeccable taste who know that you don’t have to go OTT to make a statement. The understated beauty of this wedding is what makes it so special and easy on the eye.

From the chic colour scheme and soft blousy blooms, to the elegant décor and that swoon-worthy Jenny Packham gown (complete with Nana Choos), guys – you nailed it!

With images by Sarah Mason Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Sarah Mason Photography (35)

lauren says: We got engaged after being together for six years in November 2013. We’d recently moved into our first house together and so Lee proposed at home in our front room, out of the blue after I got home from work one night. I work in retail management, so hours around Christmas time are long and stressful, coming home from work to a proposal at 11pm was definitely a welcome surprise although I was entirely lost for words!

We got married on Sunday 30th August 2015, which was the Bank Holiday weekend. We wanted people to have a little longer to enjoy the celebrations, and be able to travel to the venue and relax the day before. My parents wedding anniversary is on the 31st, and they were celebrating their 30th anniversary this year so it felt like a way to share to celebrations while everyone was together.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Sarah Mason Photography (32)

We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. We live just outside of Manchester now, but met in Leeds which is where Lee is originally from and where I went to university. We looked around a lot of venues, across the North West and Yorkshire, and found a lot of places only ticked a couple of boxes. One of my bridesmaids suggested Oulton Hall, as she’d looked at it before deciding to get married abroad instead. We fell in love with how it was so grand but in an understated way, and felt really warm. The décor of the Repton Room was something nowhere else had and fitted in with a lot of ideas I’d already had about the wedding. We also liked the idea that the reception is held in another part of the hotel, at The Claret Jug in the golf clubhouse. It was nice to have a change of scenery and have a different ambience for the evening reception.

Another reason we chose a venue in Leeds was because Lee’s dad sadly passed away in 2005 and is buried at the cemetery around the corner from Oulton Hall. It was nice to think although he couldn’t be there, he wasn’t too far away.

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