Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble! The Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza At Hardwick Hall Hotel – THIS SUNDAY!

February 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Grand Wedding Exhibition Spring 2014

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If you follow the blog over on Twitter and Facebook – you’ll probably have guessed that I am just a little bit excited about kicking off our jam packed season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions with one of my very favourite events, North East SUPER show, the Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition at the gorgeous 4* Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield, County Durham THIS SUNDAY (that’s come around quick!) on Sunday 23rd February 2014.  

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If the level of pre-registrations that Team Brides Up North has received from you lovely ladies is anything to go by, it’s going to be an amazing day!  We love hearing your little stories and getting excited with you and we can’t wait to meet so many of you in person.

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Other wedding fairs?  Pah!  What’s the point?! We are very proud to run OFFICIALLY the largest and most exciting FREE ENTRY bridal exhibitions in the North East (our last epic event at Hardwick’s sister hotel, Ramside Hall, attracted over 2,000 visitors in one afternoon – now that’s big!) with two specially choreographed professional fashion shows and almost (and sometimes over) 80 – 100 exhibitors at each, tempting on the day discounts and stuffed goody bags tailor made for each event. I might like things big and exciting, but I also like them personal.

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And yes, you read that right, the events are FREE ENTRY.  Cos I love ya, baby.

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Hardwick Hall Grand Wedding Exhibition Spring 2014

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So, get the first of our huge North East events firmly in the diary (in indelible pen please) and come along to support the most fabulous wedding suppliers in your area – I only work with the best, dahlings – for an inspiration packed afternoon of all that is pretty, new and super gorgeous in the wedding industry.  And the most important bit?  Local to YOU.

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And can I vouch for the beautiful 4* wedding venue that is Hardwick Hall Hotel?  Well, I chose it to host my own wedding day back in October 2012 – and what’s a better recommendation than that?!.

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If you would like to beat the queues, gain speedy entry and grab yourself a FREE Brides Up North Goody Bag packed with little treats from Brides Up North, the regions’ best bridal glossy magazines well as some fab on-the-day-only exhibitor discounts – while stocks last only – you can pre-register for VIP Bride to Be access now. What are you waiting for?

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To register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag fill in your details below, marking the Brides Up North event venue of choice e.g. “HARDWICK HALL” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibitions.   Only the bride need register for larger groups.

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You can also email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. VIP Bride- To-Be Goody Bags are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served polic

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  – Images © 2013 Brides Up North

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Posted in BUN Wedding Exhibition, North East Fair, North East Wedding | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Natural Vintage. Maggie Sottero For A Real Tipi Wedding In Durham – Kathryn & Dean

February 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

SDS Photography

A tortoise in a tutu, heaps of lace, pearls and roses and a Real Wedding in a tipi in my home town.  Thursday mornings don’t get much better than that!  Today we join North East couple Kathryn and Dean for their celebration under canvas in County Durham.

With images by SDS Photography

SDS Photography

Kathryn says:  We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012. Dean had planned different scenarios on how and where he was going to propose, depending on the weather. Because it didn’t snow outside, he made it snow inside. Dean covered the living room in fake snow and played our favourite Christmas song – there was a big box in the middle of the room filled with lots of smaller boxes (like Russian dolls). I had wanted a watch for Christmas so when I got to the last box, it was quite big so I thought it was the watch, but there was nothing inside it – I looked up and Dean had big sheets of card with the words of our favourite Christmas song “All I want for Christmas is You”, after each card he dropped the cards, one by one; “Love Actually” style. After the last one he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box with a gorgeous diamond ring in! Needless to say by this point I was in tears and obviously said yes!

SDS Photography

We were married on 26th October 2013 at Elvet Methodist Church in Durham followed by a reception in giant tipis in a friend’s field close to Ushaw College.

We had 5 giant tipis supplied by Special Event Tipis, they were joined together to make one huge marquee style space, one of which was the bar and chill out area, and one was for the band and dance floor area, and the other 3 were the main seating area for the meal. We had over 170 guests during the day with an additional 70 in the evening.

SDS Photography

We chose to use tipis because we fancied something a little different!  My sister and I used to have a business supplying chair covers and sashes for weddings so I had been to most venues in the North East so I wanted something totally different and special!

As soon as I went the visit the tipis, I knew they were exactly what I wanted. Dean wasn’t able to see the tipis before the wedding so he was a little sceptical about the idea, he only saw them the day before the wedding when we were setting them up, but he highly approved, much to my relief.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

We went for a natural and vintage feel with lots of lace & pearls. We also had a recurrent theme of logs; from a picture of a tree stump in the corner of our invitations with our initials carved in it, hollowed out tree stumps and logs filled with flowers for the table centre pieces and giant slices of bark covered tree trunk were used as cake stands for our traditional wedding cake and cheese wedding cake.

Our colour scheme was quite neutral with pale gold and ivory.

SDS Photography

My dress was from the Wedding Wardrobe at Chester-le-Street and was a Maggie Sottero dress called Grace. It was a very pale gold satin covered in ivory lace. To make it my own, I bought a handmade vintage style necklace and bracelet and had the necklace sewed into the front of my dress under the bust and the bracelet was attached to the top of my veil. I had these removed after the wedding to keep and wear as jewellery.

SDS Photography

I had too many close friends and sisters to choose from so decided to only have four small bridesmaids, my nieces. I got their dresses from BHS and teamed them with a cream cardigan from John Lewis. The dresses were pale gold satin with a lace bodice, they matched my dress perfectly!

The men wore dark navy, 3 piece suits which we bought from Next (it proved quite difficult as the men live all over the country) with a white shirt and vintage gold patterned tie form M&S. I also had my nephew as a page boy who wore a navy suit form Monsoon and we had one of the mens’ ties made smaller to fit him.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

I had a beautiful bouquet which had white avalanche roses, Roralie roses which were a pale peach/cream colour, talea roses which were a vintage peach/champagne colour, spray snowflake roses, white hydrangea and wax flowers and we also added old brooches which I had collected from antiques fairs and strings of pearls to keep the vintage theme going.  All our flowers were by Country Style at Langley Park. 

SDS Photography

We travelled in a cream VW split screen Campervan from Lovedub Cars called Chaz – he was beautiful.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

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Posted in North East Wedding, Outdoor Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Chocolate Orange: A Real Wedding At Lumley Castle – Deborah & Ben

June 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Alan Gibson Photography

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Today’s bride is part of the fabulous family of feisty females who make up North East wedding cake suppliers Celebration Cakes and who I know via our Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibitions in the North East and also because the family were in charge of creating my very own wedding cake back in October 2010 (and very nice it was too)!

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So when Deborah asked me if I would like to feature her Real Wedding, with images by Alan Gibson Photography, I knew that she wouldn’t have done anything by halves.  Enlisting the help of her industry colleagues (some of the best in the business) Deborah and Ben’s real wedding was bright, colourful and bursting with personality.  And lots of cake, clearly.

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Deborah says:  We got engaged seven years ago when Ben proposed after a night out for my birthday, and we were married on 21st May 2012 at Lumley Castle in County Durham.  We have just celebrated our first wedding anniversary. 

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I have always wanted get married in a castle and after doing many wedding fairs over the last fourteen years with our cake company, Lumley Castle is my favourite. 

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I had a huge dress by Ronald Joyce from Exclusively Yours by Tara and my bridesmaids wore long taffeta black dresses from Gowns and Garters. 

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We chose tropical flowers in bright colours.  Birds of Paradise are our favourite flower after seeing them on our first holiday together in Australia many years ago.  Against the bright flowers we opted for a colour scheme of ivory, black and bright orange with a hint of purple. 

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My bouquet weighed three and a half pounds and was huge! It including lilies, birds of paradise and roses and was by Wild & Wonderful. 

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I stayed at Lumley Castle the night before and Ben travelled in a Lovedub Cars camper van called Chaz!  We then we had a wedding car come after our wedding breakfast to take us into Durham for some photos with the Cathedral behind us. 

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We enlisted the help of so many amazing North East industry suppliers in addition to those already mentioned including; One Digital image, Dandy Events, Snaparazzi Photobooths, All Things Fun, Impact Technical, Mobeus Jewellers, Stephanie Short Stationery, Menswear by Just Perfect, Lickety Split, Whatado Weddings, Exclusive Wedding Cars and The Beauty Studio.

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Alan Gibson Photography

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Given what we do, the wedding cake had to be pretty special!  We had a individual chocolate cakes during the day with a figure of me, Ben and our son Alex on the top and then we had a surprise six tier chocolate creation in the evening as well as pork pies and cheese cakes.  We even had a cake made from balloons!

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All our females guests received a orchard to take home and a wedding survival pack including plasters, perfume, a hairbrush and painkillers (for the morning after)!

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In the evening we partied the night away to a live band called The Emerald Thieves, served ice creams form our favourite parlour and hired a vintage photo booth from Snaparazzi.  Ben’s mum also surprised us with a firework display. 

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Cyprus without our son! Ben’s mum booked it for us as a wedding present. 

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Alan Gibson Photography

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My favourite  part of the day was the firework display to my favourite prodigy song “Voodoo People” , but I loved it all and would love to do it all again, but as a guest!  So my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to just relax and enjoy it!

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Alan Gibson Photography

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Congratulations Deborah & Ben!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding here on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Alan Gibson Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Posted in North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Twinkle, Twinkle! Tulle & Feathers For A Real Wedding In Saltburn On Sea: Sarah & Ste

May 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Becky Mitchell Photography

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There’s nothing I like more than meeting my readers in person during their wedding planning process, hearing their excitement, helping them out with supplier recommendations and lending an ear to any wediquette issues they might have.  Even better if they then share their beautiful real wedding, packed with contributions from fabulous local suppliers, here on these pages. 

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That’s exactly what happened with today’s couple Ste and Sarah, who I was lucky enough to meet last summer at the Brides Up North Battle Of The Wedding Bands with AMV Live Music at As You Like It.  I knew then that Sarah’s wedding would be beautiful, and these images by Becky Mitchell Photography don’t disappoint.  

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Sarah says:  Ste and I have been together for 8 years after meeting through our friends Linda and John and finally getting together thanks to their wedding when I was a bridesmaid & Ste was an usher.

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Ste proposed in December 2011 after a brilliant Kasabian gig in Nottingham. It was a perfect choice as the first gig we ever went to together was to see Kasabian (also in Nottingham!) in 2005.

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We were married on 28th December 2012 at Emmanuel Church in our hometown of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, followed by a reception at Grinkle Park Hotel, a few miles away.

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We absolutely love living in Saltburn so it was important to us to get married here and to be able to capture the beautiful town in our day. We had some great photos taken at home before I left for the church and after the ceremony down by the beach and on the pier – so glad the weather was kind to us!

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As quite a few of our friends have been married already, when we were looking around at wedding venues we wanted somewhere different that we hadn’t been to lots of times already as we wanted our memories of being there to be of our special day. We visited a few possibilities but when we went to see Grinkle we knew it was the right place for us. The staff were so welcoming and accommodating and the venue was impressive yet welcoming. We had sole use of the venue too which was a huge bonus.

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We were able to select our own menu and then guests chose their preferred dishes via their RSVP (cue an impressively complex spreadsheet to keep track of it all!) The service on the day was exceptional and the food was amazing! The staff had spent so much time before we arrived setting everything out just how we had wanted it – the attention to detail was brilliant!

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I wouldn’t say our wedding had a theme as such – I guess I wanted it to be ‘wintery’ which influenced our choice of colours (dark purple and subtle flashes of silver sparkle where we could), but mainly our day was about the things we liked and the people we love.

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We had 90 of our close family and friends there to share in our day, with more joining us for the evening reception and lots of locals waiting outside the church to wish us well. Our family were a big part of the day with my cousin and Ste’s sister being two of our bridesmaids, Ste’s brother being an usher, and our gorgeous nieces (23 months and 4 years old!) were flower girls. 

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I was ridiculously excited to go dress shopping and so I was slightly disappointed to find ‘the one’ in the first shop! I visited a few more places but nothing compared so the decision was made. My dress wasn’t anything like I had imagined getting but when I tried it on it was perfect.

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My dress was called ‘New York’ by Grace Harrington and I bought it from Elizabeth George in Middlesbrough – easily the nicest bridal shop I have ever been in! Katie, Laura and all their staff were so lovely and friendly and made the whole process so relaxed and easy.

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My friend Karen lent me her gorgeous veil as my ‘something borrowed’ and then I wore a Jenny Packham bracelet and an Amanda Wyatt tiara. Ste bought me some beautiful Swarovski earrings for Christmas, which I wore, along with an Armani watch he bought me as a wedding present.

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The bridesmaids wore dark purple dresses by Mori Lee – also purchased from the lovely ladies at Elizabeth George. I commissioned an independent jewellers in the town to make bespoke necklaces for them all from pearls and Swarovski crystals – they are all slightly different so are unique – hopefully something they will be able to treasure forever.

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The flower girls had ivory dresses from Debenhams and sparkly shoes to match the bridesmaids. They had gorgeous purple sequinned heart headbands made by the talented Katy from What Katy Did Next, who also made some sparkly clip on hearts to jazz up my shoes!

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The groomsmen wore silk tailcoats suits from 1860 suit hire by Greenwoods.

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I carried a bouquet of ivory roses beautifully put together by the talented Christine at Flowerbox in Guisborough. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet with some purple fuchsias to tie in with their dresses.

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Lovedub Cars provided the brilliant wedding campervans which (somewhat precariously!) transported us up and down the hilly local roads. My niece still raves about them and complains that she doesn’t want to go in a normal car anymore but would rather travel in a “wedding bus”!

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Becky Mitchell Photography

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Becky Mitchell Photography

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It was ]important to us to choose local suppliers but also people that were genuinely interested and excited about our day.

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I could rave about many of the people we used – the amazing Becky Mitchell was our photographer and she and her sidekick Chrissy put in a looooong shift to capture all the different parts of our day for us.

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Alli from Ruby Shoes Wedding made all our much admired bespoke wedding stationery and a few extras for the day. She is such a lovely lady as well as being talented and very patient (I’m very indecisive!) so I would completely recommend checking out her work and the design services she offers for brides and grooms.

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Our local chocolate shop, Chocolinis, made our favours which were a chocolate heart and champagne cork wrapped inside silver crackers.

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We had a chocolate cake with white chocolate icing from M&S – it tasted amazing and was great value for money, especially considering the cost of cakes from other specialist suppliers. Because of the dates I ended up having to collect the cake on Christmas Eve (!) along with all the people collecting their turkeys and Christmas supplies but it was absolutely fine and the staff were great helping us get it into the car safely! The staff at Grinkle assembled it for us on the day and our customised peg-doll cake toppers (also from What Katy Did Next) stood on top proudly!

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Sophie from Stitch and Glitz made the reception room look amazing with the tealight candelabras and the colour coordinated chair covers.  I also tried to keep costs down my making things myself or buying them from non-wedding suppliers. Ebay was my best friend and saved us a fortune!

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For our table numbers we had photos of ourselves at the age that corresponded to the number – which gave everyone a giggle! We even had a caption competition which were hilarious to read afterwards! We also had lots of photos of family members’ weddings framed and placed around the venue which people loved looking at. 

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There were a few surprises on the day for our guests, such as a sweet buffet (put together myself!), a retro Snaparazzi Photobooths (hilariously brilliant! ) and even a visit from Santa who gave out presents to the children and a few special guests

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We were lucky enough to be able to book the amazing Livewire who we found at the Brides Up North event ‘Battle of the Wedding Bands’ at As You Like It. They were simply brilliant – even our friends and relatives who are hard to impress musically were raving about them!

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I’m honestly not sure what my favourite part of the day was because I absolutely loved it all so much! The ceremony was so lovely – a great balance of happy and romantic – and the speeches during the reception were brilliant – fully but emotional too. Livewire playing our first dance – ‘Happiness’ by Kasabian – was pretty special too. My face ached so much by the end of the day from smiling and laughing so much – it was THE best day ever and everything we had hoped and dreamed of.

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Becky Mitchell Photography

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We had two amazing weeks in Mauritius after the wedding – perfect for escaping the horrible British winter and recharging our batteries after all the excitement and hectic time of the wedding. It was horrible coming home though!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to use suppliers and businesses who give good customer service and are interested in you and making your day special – it makes it much easier to part with the cash and takes the stress away! I absolutely loved every minute of planning our wedding so enjoy this special time and I hope you have the wonderful day you wish for – we did!

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Congratulations Sarah & Ste!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Becky Mitchell Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Beautiful On A Budget: A Real Wedding In The North East – Bryde & Rob

December 16th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Middlesbrough Wedding by Sally Thurrell Photography

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Welcome to Sunday Brides Up North.  The air may be filled with freezing fog, but look closely and you’ll see fairy lights twinkling through the grey:  there’s only one working week to go until Christmas!  As you wind down in the office, indulge in the communal Quality Street and take a few more long lunches than normal, make sure to stop by as there’ll be a double dose of wedding pretty waiting for you on these pages right up until the big day itself.

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Speaking of pretty, today we are in Middlesbrough for the beautiful wedding of Bryde and Rob, who are proud to have brought their special day in on budget without compromising on style.  It prides me to feature weddings of every style, denomination and price point here on Brides Up North:  basically, if it’s stunning, it’s in.  Bryde and Rob’s wedding is most certainly in – by penny pinching on the things that were less important to them, they added more costly details where it mattered and carried off the whole celebration with aplomb!  With images by Sally Thurrell Photography

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North East Wedding by Sally Thurrell Photography

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Bryde says:  The day that we got engaged I came home from work to find our apartment filled with candles, a piece of classical music playing and rose petals all over the floor, leading to Rob kneeling in the bedroom with the most beautiful engagement ring. It was a day before we were off for a weekend away together to celebrate our second anniversary.

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We were married on August 10th 2012 at Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough. 

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Sally Thurrell Photography   Sally Thurrell Photography

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We were on a tight budget as I’m still a student but we felt that the ceremony venue was the most important part of our day, so after months of looking and getting very nervous that we’d never find the perfect place, we finally came upon Ormesby Hall, that was in our price range and fit our theme of a English country garden wedding. It was absolutely beautiful.

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We both love the 50’s and 60’s eras so we decided on a vintage theme with lots of lace, a pastel colour scheme and charity shop nick-knacks which were essential to us staying within budget.

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My wedding dress was always going to be lace, but finding a vintage inspired lace dress within budget was the hardest part of the whole wedding. I finally found my perfect dress, on eBay of all places for £85.

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Everyone commented on how beautiful the dress was and when they found out how cheap it was they were shocked to say the least. It just shows you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a perfect day.

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My bridesmaids wore beautiful, pale pink chiffon, floor length dresses from www.missguided.com, with our flower girls in ivory tea dresses from eBay and the men wore King Edward suits from Psyche in Middlesbrough.

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Although we chose a pastel colour scheme I didn’t want to put the men in anything too feminine or garish so Rob decided on the colour of the suits. So I was relieved when I saw him and the groomsmen looking very dapper in black and ivory suits!

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My bespoke lace veil (which I actually loved more than my dress) was created by the talented Katy at What Katy Did Next. She also created our own personal cake toppers which our guests were very fond of.

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My bouquet was filled with pale pink and ivory roses, with sprigs of lilac and greenery. I wanted the flowers to look very natural and not too tidy; our florist did a great job.

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My Granddad has a beautiful garden, so it was wonderful for his flowers to decorate our reception, he even created the bouquets for our flower girls himself. We also had the reception filled with candles, tea cups and vases that had been collected by many of our friends and family.

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We found our amazing 60’s wedding car, The Digby at Lovedubcars.  I’d recommend their company to anyone, and our driver was lovely.   I travelled to the ceremony with both my Mum and Dad with me in the car, as I’m really close to both my parents and my Mum was a massive part of my day so I wanted her with me too. And on the way to our reception Rob and I enjoyed champagne with the roof down, which led to lots of cheering and beeping from onlookers. It was so much fun.

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My favourite part was the ceremony. Rob had sworn he wouldn’t cry but as I walked down the aisle, to the same piece of classical music that Rob had played when he proposed, he was crying his eyes out, as were were all three of my sisters. My youngest sister Annie gave an emotional reading of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young, I think by the end of it there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. After our vows we walked down the aisle to the Match of the Day theme tune, much to everyone’s amusement and we drank champagne in the gardens with all our loved ones, and the weather was perfect!

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Our photographer Sally (Sally Thurrell Photography) was just like having a lifelong friend with me, as soon as she arrived on the morning she gave me a massive hug and my family loved her. Having a good relationship with her helped a lot.

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For our wedding cake, we had my own personal favourite from The Olde Young Teahouse made which was a raspberry, coconut and chocolate cake, Rob’s favourite which was a Dime Bar cake, and a classic chocolate sponge with vanilla cream and strawberries.

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My Dad was an unexpected piece of entertainment when he brought out his guitar for his speech, which was lovely as he had done the same at his own wedding to my Mum 11 years ago. We had a DJ for our evening reception who kept us dancing all night to classics by Elvis Presley and The Beach Boys

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We stayed in a log cabin at Whinstone View the next day for the weekend, and four days later we set off for a 5* all inclusive week in Egypt.

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Even though our wedding was cheap compared to what is normally spent on the average wedding, I don’t think that effected the quality of the day at all, so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to shop around, eBay was a godsend and have a dig through loads of charity shops for decoration ideas, and if you make invites, table plans and decorations yourself, it’s not only cheaper but it adds a personal touch to the day. At the end of the day it’s about you marrying the person you love, so don’t be nervous, ha!

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Congratulations Bryde & Rob!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2012 Sally Thurrell Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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