Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

rustic charm meets 1920s chic: a summer wedding at skipton castle – rachel & harry

February 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (44)

Today on the blog, we’re stepping back in time with Rachel and Harry as they tie the knot at the medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.

After 10 years together – Rachel awoke from her slumber one day to find an engagement ring on her finger; the definition of a dream come true if ever we saw one!

Their wedding was just as dreamy, with wildflowers, pretty pastels, a classic Bentley and a gorgeous three-tiered cake, not to mention a subtle nod to all things art deco. Read on for all the exquisite details…

With images by Bethany Clarke

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (9)

rachel says: We had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and always joked that there was no point in Harry proposing as he knew I would say yes, so we may as well skip the engagement and just get married. In the early hours of 31st August 2015 Harry popped the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger while I was asleep! Obviously, it was a wonderful surprise to wake up to, and Harry had spent hours nervously waiting for me to be in a deep enough sleep to put the ring on.

We got married on 23rd July 2016. We knew that we wanted a summer wedding and the venue we wanted only had a few weekends left and this date worked the best for us.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (20)

We tied the knot at Skipton Castle. We are both really interested in history and love visiting heritage sites and museums. We had visited Skipton Castle together a few times and always had a lot of fun there so it was really exciting to find out that they actually hold weddings there too! Of course, I wanted the whole fairytale princess in a castle vibe too! We had visited a few other venues but Skipton Castle just felt so special to us, everyone that works there is so lovely and genuinely wanted us to have the best day; they really put us at ease and made our wedding super special.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (39)

We wanted to have a really casual and fun wedding. It was quite small and intimate, we didn’t have a seating plan or anything like that, we just wanted everyone to mingle and have a great time.

I wouldn’t say we had a particular theme but due to our own personal styles there was a bit of a vintage feel to the day – my dress was 1920s inspired, we had a classic Bentley and wild flowers everywhere. It’s hard not to get swept up when you’re getting married in a medieval castle!

We didn’t have a colour scheme; everything was quite neutral. We had a range of different colours in our flowers and these were the only real colours on the day, at the castle and later at our reception venue too. We matched the car and the cake to the bridesmaid’s pale grey dress as it was important to us that everything looked quite minimal.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (32)

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. Looking through bridal magazines and blogs I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s designs and I discovered that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique is one of the few shops in Leeds that stock this brand. I tried on a handful of dresses but as soon as I put on ‘Ettia’ I knew that was the dress for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in a wedding dress and the lovely ladies at Abigail’s had to coax me out of it in the end as I didn’t want to take it off. I paired it with a cathedral length, Swarovski trimmed veil and an art deco headpiece – I felt like a princess.

Harry wore a gorgeous suit from The Kooples and my bridesmaid wore a pale grey dress from ASOS.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (28)

We hired a classic S-type Bentley from Classic and Vintage Travel in Harrogate. The car was incredible and the driver was so wonderfully friendly and surprised us with a bottle of Champagne after the ceremony. He drove us out to a lovely area of greenery in Skipton and we drank some Champagne and enjoyed a few minutes to ourselves before driving to the reception. It was such a special moment and we were so grateful to the driver for suggesting it.

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real wedding recap: maggie sottero for a neutral wedding at eaves hall – cara & mike

January 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

An Elegant Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Today we’re recapping the wedding of teenage sweethearts Mike and Cara, who have been together since the tender age of sixteen.

While we love to see couples going all out with an imaginative themed wedding, we also feel there’s nothing better than a celebration that is simple and elegant in its appearance, as is the case today. Bride Cara decided to steer clear of gimmicks and plan a classic and romantic big day, complete with a chic muted colour scheme and picturesque venue.

For us the stand out part of the wedding has to be Cara’s choice of attire – her Maggie Sottero fitted dress and floor-length veil are nothing short of sensational!

With images by our sensational Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

cara says: Mike proposed to me while we were staying at a boutique hotel in Manchester, The Great John Street Hotel – it was just before we were going to Australia for a year to live. In the evening we had a meal at a restaurant with Australasian cuisine and then went onto a couple of champagne bars. While we were out Mike had arranged for the hotel staff to go into our room and fill it with rose petals and candles. When we returned I went into the room and turned around to find Mike on one knee.

We set the date for 15th October 2015. I wanted an autumn wedding, as I love the oranges and reds on the trees at that time of year, and the grounds at our venue were amazing, so I wanted to make the most of them.

An Elegant Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (40)

Our chosen venue was Eaves Hall, in Ribble Valley. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we went to visit it. It was elegant without all of the ‘old’ soft furnishings that you can tend to get with manor houses. We also loved the fact that it was completely exclusive and that the venue had 30 rooms for our guests to stay in. The good thing about the venue is that there are plenty of different rooms so people could do what they wanted. Some of the guests were dancing, whilst others were having a nice wine by the fire, with it being a mild evening some of our guests were outside and some in the bar / lounge and snooker room. It just made for a really relaxed environment where people could enjoy the day and evening.

I wanted the wedding to be simple, elegant and romantic. The venue is grand enough to keep the decorations to a minimum. I wanted our wedding to stand the test of time and so tended to stay away from gimmicks.

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real wedding recap: maggie sottero for a relaxed wedding in sheffield – kath & tim

December 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (52)

Today’s real wedding has to be one of my very favourite of the year, not only because it features one gorgeous dress and some incredibly dreamy flowers, but also for the couple’s unique choice of venue.

Following a church ceremony, Kath and Tim held their reception at Abbeydale Picture House – a 1920s cinema in the cool Antiques Quarter area of Sheffield. Being from the city myself this is a venue that I love and so I’m thrilled to see it being given a new lease of life in the form of an alternative wedding venue.

Everything about this wedding is a true reflection of the bride and groom, which means it all comes together so effortlessly for a relaxed yet stylish occasion. Oh and if you’re wondering why the flowers in this wedding are so a-maz-ing Kath is a florist – and a very talented one at that!

With images by Ruth Atkinson Photography.

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (41)

kath says: We got engaged on 12th September 2015. Tim set up an amazing treasure hunt all around Sheffield by posting photos with clues on Instagram! I had to solve little riddles and puzzles that he had hidden at each stage that led me to significant places we had been to. The final clue led me to Burbage Edge in the Peak District where we had had some special picnics together and as I walked to the “spot”, Tim was there with his guitar! He sang me a song he had written and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We got married on Saturday 14th May 2016. We chose this date because I have my own floristry business and there were very few days left when we could actually get married as I was getting booked up with so many other brides’ weddings!

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (27)

We had our wedding service at St Thomas Philadelphia in Sheffield, where we attend. Our reception was held at the Abbeydale Picture House – a 1920s cinema – we used the whole of the auditorium for an afternoon tea reception.

We didn’t have a particular theme – we just did things that we liked. Therefore, our overall ‘theme’ ended up being similar to my flower shop – relaxed, vintage and homemade with lots of flowers, a few small trees at the front of the church and quirky details that we added to the day as we went along.

Being a florist I have come across most colour schemes for weddings, so it was very hard to pick! I’ve seen so many different colour combinations work so well. In the end, I went with what I loved and the colours that I always seemed to be drawn back to. I picked a really natural scheme for my own bouquet using just whites, greens with subtle pinks and then for the bridesmaids’ and venue flowers I used blush pinks and white with pops of peach.

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (24)

I wore the Juniper dress by Maggie Sottero, which my mum actually picked out for me on our first wedding dress trip! I knew instantly when I tried it on that it was the perfect dress for me. It was very elegant and quite simple with a vintage feel to it and lots of gorgeous beading and detail at the top. I wanted something that felt really comfortable and still felt like “me”, but was also really special!

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (17)

Tim wore a slim-fit navy blue three-piece suit that he bought from Moss Bros. He wore a dusky pink tie which complemented the colour scheme – we eventually found this from Next. He also wore his favourite smart brown shoes from River Island. The groomsmen all wore the same suit as Tim.

I wanted all of my bridesmaids to feel lovely and comfortable and so got them to pick their own dresses – we didn’t want it be really formal, so all the dresses were slightly different in style and colour.

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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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all i want is you. maggie sottero for a small and intimate wedding at hipping hall – laura & peter

November 16th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Laura and Peter’s intimate wedding at Hipping Hall was full of luxurious details: a Maggie Sottero Ettia gown, Jimmy Choo heels and home-grown seasonal blooms that packed a real punch – just take a look at those peonies!

This pair of foodies also created a menu to die for, agonising over canape and course choices until they were sure their perfect day could boast the perfect wedding breakfast.

Laura is full of praise for photographer Rachel Joyce and it’s easy to see why: these photographs sparkle with joy, love and summer sun.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

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laura says: Peter proposed on Boxing Day 2013, when we were in Australia visiting Peter’s brother, his wife and children. Peter was insistent that just the two of us head out on Boxing Day. However, Peter’s plan of proposing to me amongst the vineyards at Moet & Chandon didn’t work out so all day he was on edge and wanting to stop at every lookout or place of interest on our trip. Finally, after driving up mountains and through forests, he found a perfect spot at Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, Victoria. I wasn’t expecting it and we both cried!

We arranged our wedding for Saturday 30th July 2016.  We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and for Peter’s family from Australia to be there.

We decided on Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale for our venue. We visited the hall in 2015 and loved that it was so small and intimate. Plus, there was snow and it looked so pretty. We couldn’t wait to see it in summer. Being foodies, we also loved that our guests would be well looked after and enjoy amazing food and wine.

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There was no particular colour scheme to the wedding; we just wanted bright and fun colours. The venue was impressive enough without having to dress it too much. We did however, theme a lot of the wedding around the lyrics to our first dance song, All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar, as they’re so lovely.

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Ettia. I adored it from the first time I tried it on. I’d always wanted quite a straight dress and thought that the vintage style of this particular gown was just stunning, especially the pearl and crystal embellishment. I bought it from Aristocrats in Chester, who were fabulous. Dress shopping was unexpectedly easy. Aristocrats was the first shop I visited. I tried about ten dresses on and they were all lace apart from the Ettia, which I eventually went for. To this day I’ve no idea how I even ended up trying it on – it was nothing like the others I was trying. My mum and two friends all cried (so did I!) so I knew it was ‘the one’.  I bought Jimmy Choo shoes as a treat and on the wedding day Peter left a matching Jimmy Choo clutch bag in my room.

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Peter wanted a less formal feel for his outfit and I’ve always known he doesn’t enjoy wearing a tie for work. So we asked ourselves why would he wear one for the wedding? He looked so handsome and smart in his Hugo Boss suit with crisp white shirt and no tie. His accessories also added a touch of style with his Oliver Sweeney shoes and handmade pocket square from Ylleanna, Biella in Italy, matching lapel pin and socks.

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As we had such a small wedding (only 41 people), we decided that we didn’t want formal bridesmaids and groomsmen and wanted to make it a family day instead. I therefore had Peter’s three nieces as my bridesmaids. They looked stunning in pink floral dresses. Pete’s nephew kept the rings safe and presented them to us in the ceremony.

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relaxed romance. maggie sottero for a pretty summer wedding at abbeywood gardens – genna & martin

October 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s real wedding is bringing back thoughts warm summer days as bride and groom, Genna and Martin, enjoyed a beautiful outdoor July ceremony at their chosen venue of Abbeywood Gardens in Northwich.

An equally pretty reception followed at the venue, which was made complete with simple rustic styling and a rather dreamy four-tired cake.

We must also mention Genna’s gorgeous gown which has the most exquisite detailing – a Brides Up North dress crush for sure!

With images & video by Two Birds.

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genna says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2014, while at home. It was late in the afternoon and I’d spent the day saying “no, he still hasn’t asked” to family and friends (we’d been together seven years at the time). So when we had to pop home for more chairs for Christmas dinner at my brother’s house, it was a total shock to turn around to find Martin down on one knee!

We set the date for 1st July 2016. We’ve always wanted a warm wedding and our preference would have been May, but we fell in love with our venue – Abbeywood Gardens, Delamere – and this was the next available date!

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We stumbled across Abbeywood Gardens by accident on the way to another venue’s open day. We totally fell in love with the glass house, beautiful gardens and the outside space, but the real clincher was the staff. Matt, Lauren, Calum and all of the staff were so nice and friendly from the first visit all the way through to the day itself.

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We wanted a relaxed wedding that suited the surroundings. It was quite rustic in appearance, but with a hint of Disney style ‘happily ever after’ to it, along with a few little bits of sparkle.

We chose a soft colour palette of mostly creams, golds and pale pinks. The gardens at the venue were so vibrant, that we wanted everything else to be quite neutral.

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My dress was a beautiful Maggie Sottero design from Emily Eve, in Birmingham. I knew I didn’t want a typical ‘princess’ dress, and wanted something slightly more fitted, but maybe with a vintage feel. And that’s exactly what I got! It was the third dress of four dresses that I tried on, and after trying on all four, I couldn’t wait to put it back on again. I ordered my full length veil as a last minute addition at my first dress fitting, which was just four weeks before the big day.

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