Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

i dos in italy. stewart parvin for an elegant destination wedding in tuoro – naiobh & graham

June 17th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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And so for the second time today we’re leaving the north behind and jetting off overseas for another beautiful destination wedding.  We’ll squeeze some sunshine in somehow!

Having visited Italy in 2010 for a friend’s wedding, Graham and Naiobh decided there was no other option but to return to the romantic country for their own big day.

The couple combined traditional touches from their home back in Scotland with Italian influences to create a day that reflected them as a couple whilst also remaining in keeping with their dreamy setting.

So once again slap on the factor 20 as we fly to sunnier climes!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Valentina Weddings.

Wedding of Graham & Naiobh at Villa Baroncino, Tuscany, Italy from Riff Raff Photography on Vimeo.

naiobh says: We got engaged on 29th June 2012 in Siena, Italy. It was the second evening of our holiday. We had just arrived at the beautiful Aia Matttonata and headed out for dinner in Siena. When we arrived back at the relais there was a candlelit table at the bottom of the garden with views across the Tuscan countryside to Siena. We sat at the table and Mario, the owner, opened the bottle of champagne and left us to chat. Then Graham proposed and obviously, I said yes!

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Our chosen wedding date was 23rd July 2014. We wanted a July wedding and decided to go with the day in the middle of the week as we were getting married abroad. We thought this would allow guests to arrive and have a few days of relaxation before and after the wedding.

Villa Baroncino, in Tuoro was our wedding venue. We had been to a wedding at the sister property in 2010 and knew from that moment that Italy would be where we’d get married and that we would be using the services of Marco Bernasconi as we’d never been to such an amazing wedding before. Getting engaged in Italy meant it felt right to get married in Italy too.

For our wedding theme we simply wanted a day of elegance.

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My wedding dress was by Stewart Parvin which I got from Rachel Scott Couture in Edinburgh. I tried it on three times in two different shops along with other dresses but kept coming back to it as I never had the ‘this is the dress’ moment. My bridesmaids wore raspberry full length backless dresses.

Graham wore a traditional kilt in Lomond Mist exclusive tartan from Macgregor Macduff which had a raspberry check to match the colour of the bridesmaids. The groomsmen also wore the same tartan with a grey cravat and black sporran while Graham had an ivory sporran and cravat. The button holes were a calla lily and thistle in homage to Scotland.

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Mark Raffan of Valentina Weddings was out amazing photographer. He is very personable and made us feel totally at ease. He listened to what we wanted and was great fun to work with. We would definitely recommend him and as a result my brother-in-law is using him for his upcoming wedding.

Mark arranged to visit us in Scotland prior to our wedding to do a pre-wedding shoot, discuss photography styles and get to know us, which we really liked. He listened and made suggestions and our wedding album is better than we could have imagined.

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Ryan of Riff Raff Photography did the videography for us which was just fantastic! Both my brother-in-law and Graham’s best man are using him at their upcoming weddings – if that isn’t flattery we don’t know what is!

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I had a bouquet of white hydrangeas by Mood Flowers in Glasgow. The owner, Nick, flew out especially for our wedding as he had worked with my husband. He provided all the floral decoration. Our centre pieces were in tall vases and were white hydrangeas, white orchids and sunken white Cala lilies. Our table plan was made up of white orchids, rosemary and olive branches from the villa garden. We used empty wine bottles to mount the table names (provided by Luciano’s restaurant in Passignano) all the table names were named after Italian cities.

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Our wedding stationery was provided by Inviting Wedding Invitations. Judie was fantastic and the stationery ticked all the boxes; professional, tasteful and elegant.

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For favours we gave Mirano glass bottle openers to the men as a nod to Italy. The ladies meanwhile were given Arran aromatics creams and balms as Graham’s mother is from Arran and we still go over as often as we can with the dog.

Our cake was from Pots and Pans and was tiramisu flavour with buttercream on the outside. We wanted to stick with the Italian theme and Graham loves Tiramisu. The cake was garnished with hydrangeas.

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Our food was provided by Luciano. We had tried his food at the aforementioned 2010 wedding and loved it and went back for a tasting in May before the wedding to confirm our choices.

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We sourced our own red wine when we were in Montalcino from the Piombaia vineyard and Mario from Aia Matttonata sourced our white wine and prosecco from his favourite supplier.

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To entertain our guests we hired DJ Alex as we love to dance and we gave him our playlist of our favoutrite songs. We also had a quintet provided by Marco and the sheet music was written by one of my colleagues.

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As a special touch our brothers coordinated our guest book at the wedding. They ensured every guest/couple were photographed at the start of the day and the Polaroid was stuck into our guest book ready for all the guests and bridal party to pass around the tables during the meal and write a comment. We don’t quite know how our brothers managed it, they did a great job!

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We would 110 per cent recommend using Marco and his assistant manager, Ina, who were the venue manager and the suppliers we used. They ran a seamless operation and our day would have not been as memorable as it was had it not been for Marco, Ina and his team.

Walking down the aisle with my dad whilst Eden Roc was being played by the quintet at the bottom of the garden was my favourite part of the day. For Graham it was standing at the bottom of the aisle trying to take everything in.

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For our honeymoon we went to Singapore and Bali. We started at the Pan Pacific hotel in Singapore for four nights and toured around and ate. Went to restaurant André, as we are foodies, which was amazing! We started every evening in the Pacific Club with 360 degree views of Singapore and free flowing champagne (we were celebrating after all). We then went onto Banyan Tree in Bali for ten days where we chilled in our private ocean view villa, toured and ate at the Ju-ma-na restaurant every evening where Michelin star chef Christophe Schmidt from restaurant Diane, Paris cooked every evening.

My top tip to other Brides Up North wanting to wed in Italy would simply be to let Marco guide you. He is a pro and will give you both the most amazing and memorable day of your life.

To help our guests get to know each other we had a barbecue two nights before wedding. This went down a storm and we would recommend other couples marrying abroad do the same. Our best man is doing this at his upcoming wedding, which is also in Italy this year – we can’t wait to return!

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tartan & tweed. ronald joyce for a classic wedding in scotland – julia & paul

June 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

Rather than having a specific theme, today’s couple chose to head further north, back to the groom’s roots for an elegantly styled wedding with Scottish influences.

Just looking at the idyllic countryside in the photos below it’s easy to see why Scotland makes a truly romantic setting for a couple’s big day (plus going on previous experiences those Scots certainly know how to throw a party!)

And we just love the guy’s tweed suits and tartan kilts, proving that men can be just as well dressed as the girls when it comes to a wedding. Well done boys, we like your style!

With images by Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

julia says: We got engaged on the morning of Christmas Day 2013. Paul woke me up about 5.30am (which I wasn’t pleased about) to open our presents. We opened our other presents first and we had put some tiny ‘message in a bottle’ ornaments on the Christmas tree which I had bought at a Christmas fair. His message to me was ‘will you marry me?’ and when I looked up he was holding the most beautiful engagement ring. I almost died of shock and burst into tears! Then I said yes!

We decided to set the date for Saturday 28th March 2015 as Paul didn’t want a long engagement so it was 15 months after he proposed. We had actually wanted to get married on Easter weekend but our venue was booked so we went for the weekend before instead.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

We got married at Friars Carse Country House Hotel in Auldgirth, just north of Dumfries, Scotland. We hired the venue exclusively and would definitely recommend other couples doing that if they can as it meant the venue could concentrate on just us and we didn’t get any strangers in the photos!

Paul was born in Scotland and has lots of Scottish family so had his heart set on getting married in Scotland (even though I would have preferred a hot sunny beach wedding). We looked at a couple of venues around that area but as soon as we visited Friars Carse Country House we fell in love with it and booked straight away.

We didn’t really have a theme but certain colours featured throughout the wedding; tables/runners were champagne and pearl settings, the bridesmaids dresses were silver/grey full length dresses and the men wore grey tweed kilts.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

My dress was a Ronald Joyce Victoria design from Brides Dream in Walkergate, Newcastle. I had tried on so many dresses but when I tried this one it had everything I wanted and was flattering for my curvy figure. It was also quite different to others I’d seen. My bridesmaids wore full-length silver/grey dresses which I ordered online and had adjusted.

As a special touch, I bought myself and the bridesmaids matching pyjama sets to wear when we were getting ready on the morning of the wedding. The night before all the girls came to the bridal suite for fizz and giggles while the boys gathered in the bar/snooker room.

Paul wore a grey tweed kilt set from MacGregor and McDuff in Ayr and his groomsmen wore the same.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

Jamie of Jamie Penfold Photography took our wedding photos and we would absolutely recommend him to others! He was amazing from start to finish and worked so hard to ensure the pictures were stunning, and they really are. We are so pleased and can relive the day anytime we want as the pictures tell the story of the day so well.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

I carried a round bouquet of cream roses with pearl decoration supplied by Flowers by Fiona in Moffat, Scotland. Fiona also provided the bridesmaids’ flowers and buttonholes for the bridal party.

For the reception, we hired pearl and rose centrepieces, our table runners and chair covers and sashes and brooches from Charlotte Boyd in Dumfries, Scotland. I also ordered cute little blackboards with easels for the name settings and larger ones for the table names from

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

We gave our male guests Subbuteo football player bottle openers as favours and the ladies received a heart shaped wine stopper.

When it came to food, we had a three-tier round ivory sponge wedding cake with piping and pearl decorations and roses, which was made by Cakes By Becky in Crawcrook, Newcastle.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

To keep guests entertained we hired a fantastic band who Paul had seen locally called The Maverick Rejects. They travelled up to the venue and were absolutely brilliant.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to other brides and grooms. It was a fantastic venue and luckily the weather held for our photos! We will definitely return there as the staff were all brilliant.

Walking down the wooden staircase towards the aisle seeing everyone who had made the effort to be there for us, and then seeing Paul break into a huge smile when I got to the front has to be my favourite part of the day. The whole day was amazing though!

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

For our honeymoon we went to Aquila Elounda Village Hotel in Elounda, Crete, in May. We wanted to have a little gap after the wedding and so booked it as something to look forward to. It was a five star adults-only all-inclusive holiday, so perfect for relaxation!

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

My top tips to other Bride Up North would be to make sure you have someone there who you can trust to get everything done and make sure the venue are clear the day before on every small thing you want doing, as you won’t be around to manage it all. Luckily the duty manager at our venue (Xavier) was absolutely first class, so between him and my two fab bridesmaids I didn’t have to worry about anything and could just enjoy the day.

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