August 11th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
The Lake District is without a doubt a popular destination for weddings, with lots of Brides Up North couples falling for its stunning surroundings and breath-taking views for their big day.
This afternoon’s wedding takes place at a venue in The Lakes that we know well – the gorgeous Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, which Julia had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year, which means we can easily see why Nic and Chris picked it for their wedding.
Dream venue taken care off, Nic used her creative skills to pull together the décor and styling for their small but perfectly formed wedding.
Highlights for us include Nic’s Maggie Sottero dress (that back detail is to die for) and the interlude during the day for the bride, groom and their guests to enjoy a traditional boat cruise around the lake. What a fab idea!
With images by Alexandra Holt Photography.
nic says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2014 at home in the morning after opening presents with our two children. Chris took our two-year-old son Noah, up stairs and they came down with Noah wearing a T-shirt that said had a marriage proposal printed on it. Chris sat down next to me with the ring. I’ll cherish the T-shirt forever and the photos of Noah wearing it with selection box chocolate all over his face. Only Chris and my parents knew so it was a lovely surprise. No one knew Chris could be so romantic!
We set the date for 12th June 2015 as we wanted to get married within the year and summer was the preferred time, and ideally before I returned back to work after maternity leave.
Our chosen venue was the Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, in Windermere. We looked at venues closer to home but they didn’t feel special and some also had set numbers which needed to be met, which put us off. We had a small wedding of just 21, including myself and Chris.
We decided on The Lakes and I spent a couple of days looking at possible venues on websites and blogs. We narrowed it down to three venues and went to see them. The Belsfield was the last one of the day and my heart was set on it as we pulled in to the car park. The location, views and setting were perfect. Georgina and Dea there made the planning and the day itself run seamlessly. We can’t thank them and their team enough.
I’m a creative and visual person as an art and textiles teacher, so Chris left all that side to me. I showed him things and asked for his opinion. Chris doesn’t like fuss so we had a very simple set of criteria when making any decisions.
We didn’t have a theme as such but lace was included on my dress, the invitations, favours and cake. We went for things we liked and didn’t over think things too much, which helped with our short timescale. I made the invitations, favours and some bunting with our initials on for the ceremony table.
Our colour scheme was ivory/white, grey and duck egg blue. I love duck egg blue and grey, and white was included after choosing how I wanted my bouquet.
One of the things that was most important to me was to have a ‘proper’ wedding dress. I wanted to feel and look like a bride. I went shopping for my dress with my mum and daughter, Pippa, who was four and half months at the time. After looking in magazines I fell in love with the designer Maggie Sottero, and wrote a short list of dresses that I loved from their site and hunted down suppliers.
The dress I picked was called Carmen in ivory with pewter detail, which I got from Brides Gallery in Heskin. It wasn’t on my list as it was shown in a different colour on the site. It was everything I wanted in a dress. Lace and a full back were most important to me. I felt naked and on show in the strapless styles. I also didn’t want a big dress but the tulle overlay gave some volume and shape of a traditional wedding dress. My mum and I used to look at pictures of the dress daily on the run up to the day, and I still do now. I absolutely love it!
Christina Louise Rothwell did my makeup on the wedding day and Jessica Rothwell did my hair.
Before my trial I had only had my makeup done once before so I was really nervous but Christina was amazing. She listened to what I wanted as the finished look but also made suggestions to improve it. I was really happy after my trial and what she did on the day was perfect. Jessica was recommended to me by a friend and I now couldn’t recommend her enough. I changed my style between the trial and the wedding and Jess completely got what I wanted and I was so pleased with the final look.
We didn’t want traditional wedding suits, but obviously Chris wanted to look smart and special for our day. We went to Slaters in Manchester with the intention of a grey suit but left with a blue one. We went for a grey tie to match the colour scheme. It’s the first suit Chris has owned. His job as a joiner doesn’t call for one and he prefers to dress casually, unless forced into a shirt and trousers.
As we were only a small wedding of myself, Chris and our family we didn’t have the extra roles as you would at a traditional wedding. Instead Noah, our son was ‘best man’ and wore a little suit from Marks & Spencer. Our 11-year-old niece Erin was our flowergirl/bridesmaid and her lace dress was from John Lewis. Our daughter was also a little flower girl, dressed in a lace and tulle dress from Debenhams.
Photography was almost as important as the dress to me. Something I will treasure forever. We picked Alexandra Holt Photography to capture the day. Alex is a friend who I have known since college, I said long before getting engaged that if I was to get married she had to do our photos. She’s amazing. I love her style and ability to capture the main things you obviously want to remember as well as the small things you can easily forget. We had regular ‘work chats’, I gave her a list of photographs I really wanted but left the rest in her capable hands.
The results are amazing. I’m so proud of them, I’ve never been happy with pictures of myself before, until these. I can’t stop looking at them. Alex is so professional but not too formal. She was fantastic especially with the children. I will be forever thankful for her gorgeous work. As a friend she provided constant advice and support which helped keep me sane and make the planning so much easier.
On the day I carried a hand tied bouquet of peony, hydrangea, lisianthus and roses in pure white. I had a powder blue ribbon as my something blue. My niece had a smaller version and Chris, Noah and my dad had button holes. Made in Flowers supplied them. Katie was great, we discussed them over emails and phone calls and didn’t actually meet until the day itself.
The hotel made us some gorgeous macaroons as favours but I also made up my own.
As we had a few children at the wedding I included love heart sweets, some chocolate hearts and a Macmillan charity wrist band. I made a donation in memory of my auntie Gill who passed away October 2014 after illness. I was obsessed with weddings and princesses as a young child and for a birthday she made me a wedding dress. I lived in it. And tried to force everyone and anyone to play weddings with me. It upsets me that she never got to see me as a real bride but I wanted to include her in some way. The wristbands caused a few tears on the day but it was nice to have my auntie thought about at my wedding.
I found our supplier Charlotte at Sugar Ruffles in Windermere on a blog and after stalking her cakes on the internet I knew I didn’t need to look any further. We wanted a single layer cake with light grey lace detail and sugar flowers to match my bouquet. I really didn’t want to cut into it. It looked beautiful.
The cake itself was a frequent discussion. Chocolate lover Chris lost out to my vanilla bean sponge choice! We had it as dessert in the evening.
Good food was really important to us. Chris and I love food! But we’ve also been to weddings as guests where the food was disappointing and wanted to avoid this. One of the benefits of having a smaller wedding meant we could have a higher standard on the things we chose. Pimms and canapés were served after the ceremony on the terrace. We wanted a sit down meal for the wedding breakfast and Chris chose roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as the main and I chose mushroom and leek crumble for the vegetarians. We had tomato soup to start and a sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
In the evening we had sausage and chip barms, with the cake as dessert. The food was brilliant. Everyone enjoyed it.
After the wedding breakfast we went on an hour cruise on a traditional boat around the lake. We hoped to keep it as a surprise until the day but the weather forecast meant we had to warn people to bring a coat or possibly a waterproof, but the weather ended up being perfect. We got some great photos walking down to the lake and back up to the hotel as well as on the boat.
Following our wedding we would definitely recommend the hotel to other couples. The venue speaks for itself – it’s beautiful. The building was perfect and the setting can’t even be described. We were the only wedding that day at the hotel which was lovely and we were made to feel so special. The staff went above and beyond on the day and during the planning, nothing was too much trouble. And what girl doesn’t love a bit of Laura Ashley?
The ceremony was a favourite part of the day but I loved every part, from getting ready to having the photos taken of just us two. Having my hair and makeup done was a real treat, I felt the best I’ve ever felt. The boat trip in the early evening was lovely, the weather was perfect for it. The children are still talking about that bit now! I really enjoyed just being together with everyone. Having the people we love the most all together celebrating with us.
For our honeymoon we went to a very hot Disneyland Paris two weeks after our wedding with our two young children, Noah and Pippa. It was only short, three nights but we had a fantastic time. Not very romantic but wouldn’t have had it any other way.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be selfish. Choose what you two want. Don’t try and please anyone but yourselves. As long as you’re both happy that’s all that matters. Also don’t get caught up in the small things, even though you want a perfect day the days that follow the wedding are the important ones.
I get quite jealous of people planning now. I want to do it all again. The day flies by and seems a lifetime ago.
July 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
After a romantic, if not soggy, proposal in the heart of Disneyland Paris today’s music loving bride and groom decided to give their big day a festival wedding theme, complete with wristbands and live bands!
Keen that her wedding day also had a pretty edge to it, Lucy incorporated a few vintage touches into the styling and décor using sweet pastels in yellow, blue and pink.
We love all the elements of their big day and find that the festival theme and pretty colour scheme actually blend together really well.
So let’s head to the main stage so you can see all the wedding action for yourselves!
With images by David Walters Photography.
lucy says: We got engaged in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyland Paris – not quite as romantic as it sounds as it was pouring, and I mean pouring, with rain and we were wearing Mickey rain ponchos!
Our wedding day was on 2nd May 2015. We chose this date as it fell on a bank holiday. We had a lot of family and friends travelling from all over the country and we thought this way people could make a full weekend of it.
Thistle Atlantic Tower in Liverpool was our wedding venue which we chose primarily because of the fabulous view. The hotel overlooks the River Mersey and has the most beautiful view of the famous Liver Building and the waterfront.
We incorporated a festival theme throughout our big day. We had ticket style invites, wristbands, tables named after famous stages and a band themed cake. I also tried to add a vintage twist to make it a bit more girly using pastel colours and birdcage and candelabra centre pieces.
Our colour scheme was pastel yellow, blue and pink, inspired by the vintage twist. I also decided early on that as my bridesmaids were all so unique and different from each other that it would be nice to dress them in varying colours.
My dress was Payton by Maggie Sottero which I got from Aristocrats of Chester. I chose this dress because it had the vintage feel I was after and beautiful detail. It was also unlike any wedding dress I had seen before and I think I surprised a lot of people with my choice!
Craig wore a three piece grey suit by ONESIX5IVE from Slaters. Craig doesn’t do tails and top hats, so the slim fit simple tailored suit was perfect for him.
Our groomsmen wore identical suits to Craig’s while our bridesmaids wore Mark Lesley dresses, also purchased from Aristocrats of Chester, in pastel yellow, blue and pink.
On the wedding day I travelled to the venue in a vintage VW campervan provided by Nick Connah from Connah’s Cars. Craig’s Mum and I also surprised Craig on the day with the same transport to take him to the venue.
David Walters was our photographer and we could not recommend him highly enough! Throughout the whole experience he was creative, supportive and fun. We had a pre-wedding shoot which enabled us to get to know him before the day which was really important. On the day itself he was energetic and made people feel at ease. His photography is documentary style, and has provided us with stunning photos and memories of our day.
I carried artificial silk flowers with pearl and diamanté decorations. I wanted flowers that I could keep forever.
Our wedding breakfast and reception decorations were provided by Karla Pritchard from Add A Little Sparkle. We had birdcage and candelabra centre pieces with yellow, pink and blue flowers. The flowers were also incorporated into the back of the chair covers, which looked stunning. My Mum and I made bunting for the ceremony table and top table which was a really nice personal touch.
We gave each of our guests a festival style wristband as favours when they arrived at the ceremony. At the wedding breakfast we also had ‘Team Lucy’ and ‘Team Craig’ pin badges on the tables.
Craig and I are very passionate about music and so we had a band themed cake. It consisted of three ‘drum’ tiers, with our favourite band and festival logos on the side. It was made by a family friend, Janet Hamer.
To keep guests entertained at the wedding and to tie in with our theme, we had the Ukulele Club Liverpool to perform after the ceremony and then in the evening we had an awesome band called Slinky, who literally kept the dance floor filled all night.
Following our wedding, we could not recommend our venue highly enough to other couples. Our day was stress-free and no request was a problem. The staff really made our day special, they were so helpful and fun. We had mentioned to the waitresses previously about our theme, and I said to them about wearing flowers in their hair. I couldn’t believe on the day that they all did, it was really lovely.
It’s hard to pick one part of the day over another as my favourite, but I’ve got to say our wedding band Slinky really rocked, and being on the dance floor with all my friends and family around me is something I will never forget.
As we got engaged in Disney we decided to go to Orlando, Florida on our honeymoon. We spent ten days in Disney and four days in the Universal resort. It was the holiday of a lifetime for us, and the weather was unreal.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be – don’t worry about tradition, do what makes you happy.
June 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Having found their perfect wedding venue in Crab Manor, North Yorkshire, today’s couple decided against a set theme and instead added bits and pieces that they liked to the manor’s unusual décor or an individual big day.
Individuality continued throughout the wedding in the bride’s vintage-esque attire, the groom’s tweed getup and the beautiful floral bridesmaid dresses.
There are many elements of this big day that we absolutely love, though one in particular has to be Gemma’s wild bouquet – just stunning!
We think you will all agree, this one is a real beauty!
With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Helen Russell Photography.
gemma says: We got engaged on 2nd December 2013. Darren took me for lunch at Browns in Newcastle. After our starters Darren started to fidget in his pocket then he pulled the ring out and proposed, I said yes immediately. I can remember thinking though I wished he had waited until after our meal as I couldn’t eat anything else as I was so excited to get back home and tell everyone!
We set the date for 13th February 2015. We decided on that date as the 13th February is the anniversary of when we officially started dating.
Our chosen venue was Crab Manor in Thirsk, we fell in love with how cool and quirky the place was and also the uniqueness of the venue. We always knew a big stately house/hotel wasn’t for us and wanted somewhere everyone would feel comfortable on the big day.
We didn’t wanted to have a theme as such but I have a love for vintage clothing/items so that did play a part in the day, but ultimately we chose to buy whatever we liked. Similarly, we chose not to have a colour scheme as we didn’t want to be limited in what we could buy, we wanted free rein and hoped everything would come together in the end.
My dress was from Amore Brides in Sunderland. I always knew what kind of dress I didn’t want more than what I did want. I met June the owner and pulled out three dresses to try on, as soon as I put the first dress on I knew it was the one. It was the most beautiful lace backless Maggie Sottero dress and it was just me. I felt 100% comfortable so I bought it there and then. I still look at it now and I’m still in love with it.
Darren bought his suit from Leaf in Newcastle. He wanted a tweed suit and fell in love with the first one he saw. His tweed tie was bought online from a shop in Scotland to go with his Dolce and Gabbana shirt. His Jeffrey West shoes were a gift from me for his birthday the year before. Unfortunately Darren’s gran passed away before our wedding. With some of the money he was left he bought a gold pocket watch, so in a sense his gran could be with us on our special day.
Our bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS. They were for me the perfect dresses and I really liked them straight away. Isabelle my flower girl (niece) wore a beautiful dress from Monsoon with some glitter pumps from John Lewis.
Helen Russell was our photographer on the day. Helen has photographed a few friends’ weddings and I totally love her style and how she captures the perfect moments. I’m not a great fan of posed photos and I knew Helen’s images were mostly natural shots and this was ideal for us.
My flowers were a bit of a gamble as I didn’t really know what I was getting until the morning of the big day. My maid of honour, who flew back from Australia for the wedding, is good friends with Kirsty who co owns Darling and Green, we met up once last summer and I saw some of her work and knew she was the one who I wanted to do my flowers. I was quite laid back about what I wanted and Kirsty totally got my style and I knew she would deliver on the day.
We had a selection of different shaped and sized glass bottles filled with wild flowers for our table decorations from Darling and Green, along with glass bottles I filled with pearls, which we used for our table numbers. I bought a flowery storage box and some mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting and made a box for our cards. The venue is full of bits and bobs so we didn’t need a lot of decorations.
Our wedding favours were retro mix ups in personalized brown paper bags, we put in all of our favourite sweets from our childhood. The children got goody bags full with activities such as colouring in books, puzzles, pens and also disposable cameras, which went down a treat.
We weren’t really fussed on having a wedding cake so we decided on cupcakes made by Lynn, a family friend. They were a huge success and tasted amazing!
We choose a menu that would please everyone; leek and potato soup, beef and vegetables then sticky toffee pudding followed by coffee and the famous Crab Manor chocolate truffles.
For entertainment, we hired a juke box from Crab Manor. As we only had a small wedding of 30 people we didn’t need anything else. Everyone loved dancing away to their favourite tunes. For decoration we also hired a love heart from Coco Luminaire with our names and date of the big day on.
If you are after something different to your normal wedding then choose Crab Manor as the venue is without doubt one of the best places we have stayed in. It offers something different and the staff are amazing, especially John, one of the wedding co-ordinators. The venue is cool and quirky and just has an amazing overall feel. We highly recommend!
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony; being with everyone who we love and care for and being able to share our special day with them.
For our honeymoon we went to Jamaica. We literally went to chill after a busy few months arranging the wedding. The surprises kept on coming though as on our second week we found out I was expecting our first child, due in October!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the experience, as it’s very easy to turn into a bridezilla!
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May 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
There’s something extremely enchanting about saying ‘I do’ in a castle setting as today’s couple demonstrate.
Every inch the fairy-tale bride, Caroline wore a stunning Maggie Sottero organza ball gown for the big day and carried a romantic bouquet of pink and ivory roses, peonies and ranunculas.
Add to this some incredible floral displays, stunning grounds and a fine feathered ring bearer and you’ve got one very grand affair indeed.
With images by Martin Hambleton.
caroline says: We got engaged back in June 2011 whilst on holiday in Turkey, during a visit to the harbour in Fethiye.
Upon returning we set the date for Sunday, 8th June 2014 at Peckforton Castle, Tarporley, Cheshire. I spotted Peckforton online whilst looking for potential venues and I was instantly drawn. It just looked so beautiful. After arranging a visit that was it, we loved everything about it and we knew our guests would too.
We didn’t have a theme as such, just a bit of everything we like and loved. Our colour scheme was silver, grey, cream and ivory.
My mum chose my dress for me at Brides Gallery near Chorley. The ladies their Alison and Liz were amazing and so helpful. The dress I wore was a Maggie Sottero organza ball gown called Hanaleigh. It was a sweetheart fitted dress, with a ruched bodice, loads layers and hand-sewn flower detail. It was huge and so fairy-tale like. Far from what I originally thought I would go for, seeing as I was looking at a non-detailed, no frills, slim-fitted dress. But I loved it and I knew it was the one.
My bridesmaids wore silver/grey A-line/sweetheart floor-length chiffon dresses with pleated and beaded/sequin detail. I bought these by recommendation from JJ’s House online.
We used Hipswing for the lighting and entertainment. They also supplied our chair covers and sashes as well as the sparkle lit dancefloor. We would highly recommend them. Our DJ Dan was great, he played all our favourite songs and the dance floor was never empty. Tansy and the team were so helpful with helping organise our day and nothing was too much trouble.
We also used Eventures wedding venue decorators. The team did an amazing job for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. Everything looked incredible and the flowers and bouquets were stunning too. I had a hand-tied bouquet of white and ivory roses, pink avalanche roses, peonies and ranunculas, finished with lace and diamante pin detail. We cannot thank them enough.
Our photographer was Martin Hambleton. We met Martin at a wedding fayre, he was so easy to talk to and his work was just incredible and exactly what we were looking for. Knowing I would be nervous on the day, Martin made me feel at ease and half the time I didn’t even know I was being photographed. Martin captured every aspect of the day. Our photographs are beautiful and we cannot thank him enough either!
Chris designed all of our stationary; the invites, order of the day, the seating plan, place names, table numbers and also the favour boxes. We both then did the making and the embellishments. It took a long time but was well worth it.
For some extra décor I bought tall lanterns for the entrance to the Great Hall and vintage birdcages which I decorated with flowers, pearls and diamantes bought from Country Baskets. I also did my own sweets and treats table.
As a special touch we had Mango the owl deliver our rings during the ceremony and a falconry show at the drinks reception, which was enjoyed by all.
My auntie had our cake made for us as a wedding gift by family friends who have done this for many years. They did an amazing job. We had a three tiered cake; one lemon sponge, one Victoria and the other was fruit. It had ivory icing with vintage detailing in lace, pearl flowers and fallen petals.
For the transport on the day we hired two Imperial Landaulette cars from Horgans. I have to say these are by far the best supplier in wedding cars you’ll find. The cars were immaculate and the drivers were lovely. They arrived in plenty of time and even got us to the venue, some 40 miles away 20 minutes early, avoiding all the traffic, road works and chaos that some our guests got stuck in. Definitely number one for reliability. Thankfully all ended well and everyone made it in time.
I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day as I loved everything about it. Following our special day we jetted off on honeymoon to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and relax during the lead up to the wedding – don’t stress and enjoy every moment. It’s your day after all. Everything will be perfect.
March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding is one classy do. Laura and Giles chose a traditional church wedding followed by a reception and the stately Hassop Hall.
Their big day is brimming with elegance, from the bride’s wedding attire to the beautiful blooms and transportation in the form of a horse-drawn carriage.
Though clearly a sophisticated couple, they didn’t take all elements too seriously as their wedding album features a rather unusual image. Their photographer Kate Cooper explains: “Giles and Laura requested a shot that I’ve seen online where a dinosaur is superimposed on a photo of a screaming bridal party – I joked that I could superimpose whatever I liked, cue the giant hamster artwork from the Beastie Boys Intergalactic single.”
Images by Kate Cooper Photography.
laura says: We were on a walk in the countryside near one of our favourite pubs when Giles suddenly asked me to marry him on the first warm day of spring 2013. Although I’d hoped he would propose sooner or later, it was a complete surprise and I was very touched that he’d secretly asked my father for my hand in marriage the day before.
We both really love the month of September, so thought it would be a good time to get married – we set the date for 20th September 2014.
We had our ceremony at St Giles Church in Great Longstone, Derbyshire, and the reception was held at Hassop Hall which is about 1.5 miles away. Although we live in London, we decided to get married in the Peak District which is where Giles grew up and where a lot of his family live. It was important to us to get married in a church. St Giles is the parish church in the village in which Giles’ mother lives. It is a beautiful medieval church and we also liked its name! Once we’d chosen the church, we started looking at reception venues. We were absolutely thrilled to have our reception at Hassop Hall which we cannot praise highly enough.
We didn’t have a theme as such, it was just a complete jumble of stuff that we liked. For the reception stationery we had a loose travel theme (a seating plan map, luggage tag name cards etc) but this theme wasn’t reflected in our save the dates or wedding invitations. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such either, although I was quite keen on the idea of having muted dusky shades in the girls’ dresses and the flowers because I thought they’d look nice together.
I wore a Maggie Sottero lace and tulle dress called Bronwyn which was customised by a local seamstress who removed the top of the keyhole back to make a low v back and altered the sleeves. I bought it from Allison Jayne in Clifton, Bristol, which is where one of my sisters lives. To be honest, in the run up to our wedding, the dress felt like a real compromise. I chose it because it was comfortable, in budget and I liked the warm ivory colour. In my heart I would have liked a Jenny Packham dress but we needed a new boiler so I was determined to be good! However, on our actual wedding day I loved my dress, especially when it was combined with all my lovely accessories.
I wore Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil that was custom made to match the dress by Ali Rouse at Unique Dress and pearl drop earrings that were a gift from Giles. In the evening, I wore art deco style earrings, headband and a matching belt. I also wore a faux fur stole which was borrowed from a friend.
One of my sisters lives in Sheffield so she was able to winkle out some fabulous contacts for us. She recommended Jenn Edwards and her team who did hair and makeup for me, the bridesmaids and my mother on the day of the wedding. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Jenn and her team. They were very funny, incredibly talented and we all felt like more beautiful versions of ourselves.
The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in dusky shades – blue, green and grey – cream cardigans and nude shoes. I wanted them to have a romantic country feel, but wear colours that they liked and styles that they might feasibly wear again. The mismatched dresses were much more difficult to find than I had envisaged. After many hours of trawling the internet and a thorough search of the high street we bought the dresses from Ariella (available at House of Fraser), Debenhams and Monsoon. The cardigans were from Boden and the girls wore their own shoes. The groomsmen wore their own suits and ties to tone in with the girls’ dresses.
My mother-in-law hired a horse drawn carriage for the travel to and from the church. I was initially a bit apprehensive as I was worried it might be a bit Big Fat Gypsy Wedding but it was a really thoughtful touch and one of my favourite parts of the day. It was wonderful travelling in the carriage with my father from the cottage that we had hired in Little Longstone to St Giles Church and hearing the wedding bells ring across the fields.
Kate Cooper was our photographer. She was recommended by one of my sisters who met her through friends. I would 100 per cent recommend Kate – she’s very good at catching little intimate moments and managed to take some lovely photos of two people who don’t really like having their photo taken. We felt very relaxed and laughed a lot when Kate was taking our photos and I think that shows in the end results.
My vintage style bouquet was made by Swallows & Damsons, based in Sheffield. It was made up of dusky pink roses, pepita spray roses, ivory waxflower, steel berries, astilbe, dusky pink astrantia and purple veronica and eucalyptus. I loved it so much but was still happy to throw my bouquet at the end of the evening!
We had lots of flowers from Swallows & Damsons at our reception too – similar to the flowers in my bouquet. The urns and small vases were at the church to begin with, as pedestals and pew ends, and were then transported to Hassop Hall for the reception. Before the wedding day I also spent hours writing names on luggage tags in straggling calligraphy then tying these on to rolled napkins with ribbons and lavender sprigs for the tables.
Instead of giving out favours we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Commission.
My lovely sisters and mother made our wedding cake. Extra special thanks go to my sister Miranda who made hundreds of sugar flowers to match our wedding flowers which cascaded down the side of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of fruit cake, so we had a chocolate tier, an orange and almond tier and a coffee tier. It was delicious!
For our wedding meal we had a smoked chicken and bacon salad with a honey and orange dressing, followed by onion soup, then roast pork with all the trimmings and to finish, individual summer puddings. We went to Hassop Hall for Sunday lunch with our parents so we could taste different menu options. It was a difficult choice as they were all delicious but these were our favourite dishes.
Giles’ school friend Emlyn, was kind enough to arrange a pair of jazz musicians for us as a wedding present to provide entertainment. They played during the drinks reception. We also had a disco provided by Spirits High after dinner.
I can’t praise Hassop Hall enough. We live in London so weren’t able to visit the venue very often but Helen thought of every last detail and ensured that the day ran absolutely seamlessly. The service was excellent and the wedding breakfast was one of the best mass catered meals that I have ever eaten.
My favourite part of the wedding would be the horse and carriage ride with my new husband from the church to Hassop Hall, it was really lovely to be able to have ten minutes to take everything in together. I also enjoyed the impromptu midnight feast that Hassop Hall rustled up for a hungry bride at the end of the night.
For our honeymoon we went to Scotland for ten days, breaking our journey in the Lake District. We were blessed with good weather so enjoyed lots of wonderful walks together in the stunning scenery as well as some fabulous food. Our favourite places that we stayed were The Gilpin and Monarchyle Mhor.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to outsource where possible – the less you have to do in the days before the wedding, the better, as there will always be last minute issues. Spend some time working out the logistics of the wedding day and the days either side. We had a plan of who was doing what when and how things (flowers that were re-used, luggage etc) were moving from one venue to the other. We circulated this plan to the bridesmaids and groomsmen and think it really helped the day to go without a hitch.
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