Charlotte Balbier

hey, mr dj? maggie sottero for a festival wedding in liverpool – lucy & craig

July 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (26)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (30)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (7)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (10)

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!

On the wedding day my hair was done by Carol Ellis Thompson and I wore a hairband by Rocks For Frocks. I also had personalised wedding Converse for the evening reception, which I loved!

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (13)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (15)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (20)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (25)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (50)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (31)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (35)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (38)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (41)

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (48)

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.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be – don’t worry about tradition, do what makes you happy.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (52)

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a little bit of what we like. a personal wedding with vintage touches at crab manor – gemma & darren

June 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (3)

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!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (7)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (10)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (12)

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.

The best men and my dad wore navy suits from Debenhams with tweed ties also from the same shop as Darren’s. All the guys had matching monster socks from Burton.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (16)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (40)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (42)

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!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

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.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

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!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

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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flying high. maggie sottero for an elegant wedding at peckforton castle – caroline & chris

May 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (34)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (4)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (6)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (10)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (17)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (22)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (25)

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!

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (31)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (37)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (47)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (53)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (54)

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c) Martin Hambleton Photography (59)

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.

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roses and lace. maggie sottero for an elegant wedding at Hassop Hall – laura & giles

March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (29)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (3)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (6)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (7)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (11)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (10)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (16)

Giles wore a three-piece made-to-measure suit from A Suit That Fits in a grey herringbone fabric and Oliver Sweeny brown shoes.

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (21)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (22)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (24)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (33)

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!

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (39)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (43)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (44)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (48)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (54)

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.

a classy wedding at Hassop Hall (c) Kate Cooper Photography (38)

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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happy & hygge. a warm winter wedding at newton hall, northumberland – emma & rachel

February 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (20)

I was overjoyed when same sex marriage (actual marriage, not just civil partnership) became legal in the UK, but it’s only when I get to feature beautiful couples like Rachel and Emma that the enormity and awesomeness of that change actually hits home.

These girls were looking for a day filled with warmth, openness and togetherness, and that’s exactly what they got. How very Hygge!

All will be explained…

With images by Leighton Bainbridge Photography.

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (10)

the girls say: We got engaged while staying in Northumberland in May 2013. In 2012 we had attended Peace Camp at Dunstanburgh Castle; white tents covered the grounds surrounding the ruins and we arrived at dawn where love poems were played from illuminated tents. Both of us were desperate to propose, unbeknown to the other! Unfortunately finances had restricted our opportunity at this time. Emma decided to re-enact this experience on our favourite beach, Beadnell on the 25th May 2014. She had recruited friends and family to erect a white tee-pee on the beach through the night for us to arrive at dawn. An excellent plan depended on excellent weather; and we had experience torrential rain and gale force winds up until hours beforehand!

The plan did however turn out perfectly; despite a slightly later arrival on the beach following the “scenic route’!

Emma got down onto one knee and became for the first time, lost for words!

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (4)

We were married at Newton Hall in Northumberland om 23rd December 2014/.  Rachel had spent a huge amount of time in Northumberland throughout her childhood and it is a very important place to her family. We spent a lot of time together in Beadnell and the surrounding area and it feels like home. We had come across Newton Hall at a wedding fayre before it hosted ceremonies but it began to develop into a fabulous one-in-one venue over the years. We visited the venue just after our engagement and looked no further! We loved the style of the venue and the fact we could have exclusive use of this house. From the window in the bridal suite, Beadnell bay where we got engaged is visible and everything just seemed to fall into place!

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (1)

Due to the date we booked, a Christmas theme began to develop. After initially booking Rachel looked into a honeymoon destination to leave the next morning, Christmas Eve. Copenhagen was one of the stand-out destinations and doing research into Copenhagen at Christmas gave us the word Hygge. In Danish it means “The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other” We used this phrase on our invitations and the wedding was completely Hygge!

The colour scheme was natural fabrics and colours with a small amount of metallic touches. We wanted it to be cosy and festive without over-using red and green!

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (13)

Rachel had spent a long time looking at dresses on the internet and we both tried a few on in a local shop to work out which style suited us best.

Rachel found a strapless, corset style diamond white Maggie Sottero gown on eBay from a woman the same measurements and we took a chance! We drove down and collected it at a service station in Yorkshire and called at The Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton on the way home to try some on for Emma. Emma chose the third dress she tried on, an ivory lace Mori Lee and although it needed alterations it complemented the Maggie Sottero perfectly. Rachel managed to try her dress on for the first time in the changing rooms with Emma and thankfully it fit and was just perfect! We managed to have our dresses a week after booking our wedding date!

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Our bridesmaids wore navy twist front maxi dresses by Debut at Debenhams. Our boys wore navy suits with tweed waistcoats, red ties and white shirts, all from Moss Bros who were fantastic with everyone from dads to younger brothers!

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (24)

We feel so lucky to be able to get married – we waited until it could be a wedding rather than a civil partnership and we are very fortunate that while planning this wedding all we have experienced from all suppliers, shops and others has been excitement and kindness. We were entirely overwhelmed with the love we experienced from our friends and families and that was the best thing about our wedding.

a hygge wedding at Newton Hall (c) Leighton Bainbridge Photography (27)

Leighton Bainbridge was our photographer. Photography was one of the biggest decisions for us. Emma is a keen photographer and we spent a lot of time looking at wedding photos to find out what style we were after. We found it difficult to find examples of lesbian weddings! When we met Leighton we knew he’d be perfect; we arrived armed with an album of photographs we liked from various sources and he took on this on board! He was quiet and polite; we were confident Leighton would fit into our day and produce excellent photographs to treasure.

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We had great difficulty finding flowers which would be available in December but found dried bouquets by The Artisan Dried Flower Company. We used their winter theme and ordered matching hair pins, buttonholes and bouquets for all of the bridal party. The bonus is we can keep our bouquets forever!

We also ordered some dried flowers for the milkchurns at the ends of the aisle from The Artisan Dried Flower Company. We used wish trees to suspend our wedding favours which were glass baubles which we filled with different sequins, feathers and other sparkles hoping to make one to suit each person. We used fake snow and tiny crystals around the bases on the tables and battery fair lights on the trees themselves.

We used an antique map of Northumberland with buttons and string for our table plan. This was made by Rachel and again finished the evening before!

Emma’s mother, Sarah, ordered the material to dress the chairs and Aunty Helen helped with the sizing and preparation. The venue were brilliant; all of our various decorations were boxed up and left with them the evening before following a short meeting with their fantastic wedding coordinator Jane.

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A friend from Emma’s work, Andrea made the cake, which fit with the winter theme again. It tasted fantastic! Lemon, Chocolate fudge and Fruit cake in layers.

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We chose a string quartet for before, during and after the ceremony and a ceilidh for the evening, which was fantastic. North East Soiree provided the entertainment and they were fantastic. We wanted a ceilidh to encourage the guests to relax and break that initial first dance ice!

Our ceremony with the string quartet was lovely, “Annie’s Song” for our entrance and we walked out to “Fairytale of New York”. Rachel had suggested riding in on her horse – which was disallowed!

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We involved our dog, Rowan as ring bearer in the wedding. She was perfectly behaved through the day, enjoying the wedding breakfast on Emma’s knee sharing Rachel’s chicken!

Our “best people” made a beautiful speech including photographs of both of us as children, the last seven years together and then our engagement photographs. The master of ceremonies stated it was one of the most emotional weddings he had seen; it felt like a long time coming!

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Our first dance was to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. We finally decided on the song the evening before the wedding and choreographed the routine at 10pm in our PJs in our hotel room!

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The venue was fantastic. They were so well practised and nothing was too much of a problem. We felt comfortable and looked after all day. Jane our coordinator on the day was fantastic – even stitching out dresses up before the first dance when we realised we were going to struggle! The master of ceremonies John was lovely and other staff were friendly and professional. Although it was only the third same-sex marriage at the venue, the staff were great. We did change the format from a normal wedding slightly to suit our situation but this was never a problem. They are very flexible!

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At the end of the evening, the close friends and family staying retired to the bar in the main house. Rachel took her hair out and was sat on the floor, we were all sat with coffees and tea and wedding cake discussing the day. It was truly Hygge!

We were pretty early to bed and we sat in the bath together and opened our cards. We later found out that had we looked out of the window from our free-standing bath in the Beadnell bay room we would have probably seen a fantastic show of the Northern Lights! Every part of the day was wonderful but those moments when we were alone were special; we repeatedly said how magical the day had been and how loved we felt.

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We flew to Copenhagen on Christmas Eve morning and arrived at the Hotel Neptun at tea-time. We were asked to join the duty manager and his wife (and dog!) in Christmas Eve dinner where we sampled Danish desserts and tea and our new friends gave us tips on where to visit! The next morning we woke up to snow on Christmas day! We spent five days in Copenhagen visiting the local sights and enjoyed the Nutcracker Ballet at Tivoli gardens. Copenhagen was a winter wonderland – a beautiful city with friendly people and amazing food! We cannot wait to return!

Our top tip for Brides Up North is to make sure the wedding is your own kind of special. We had a tiny wedding guest list and we were pretty ruthless on who we invited to make sure that everyone could be comfortable on the day. This was excellent because it meant we did spend time away from our guests without worrying they were missing us! By having a small wedding party, it took the pressure off and we enjoyed the company of everyone there.

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