December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
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
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.
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.
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!
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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November 16th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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October 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
October 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Fans of relaxed rustic wedding styling prepare to take note, for the décor and details in this afternoon’s celebration are guaranteed to earn a place on your Pinterest board.
From hessian chair ties and cute bunting to natural log slices and twine-wrapped glass jars filled with wonderful wild blooms, Dan and Belinda’s big day has it all.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
belinda says: Dan proposed to me in front of Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill, on 15th March 2015. Dan knows that Holcombe Hill is my favourite place so knew it would have meaning for us to get engaged there. He asked my dad’s permission earlier in the day and then suggested we go for a Sunday evening walk. We got to the top of the hill and I started to take some photographs – when I turned around he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. I cried for about 15 minutes before I remembered to actually say yes!
We set the date of the wedding for 1st April 2016. We had chosen this as our ‘official’ anniversary date of when we first got together (mainly so that Dan would never have an excuse to forget with it also being April Fool’s Day). The wedding fell on our fourth anniversary.
Our chosen venue was The Fisherman’s Retreat, in Shuttleworth, Lancashire. We wanted a venue where we would be able to see Holcombe Hill, and at The Fisherman’s you have the view of Holcombe Hill right from the spot you have the wedding ceremony so there was never really any other choices on the cards.
I’d describe the style of our wedding as rustic and natural! We just picked out things we liked the look of really – so lots of brown card, jars with twine, crates, log slices, wooden hearts, etc. This is just our taste in general so seemed the right thing to do!
We didn’t particularly have a colour scheme. We picked a heathery colour for the bridesmaid dresses and Dan’s tie and handkerchief (because I saw the colour on a Dessy swatch and it was the only one I liked) but apart from that we just had all different colours of wild flowers, and then the rustic details in between.
I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Cassidy, which I got from The Bridal Lounge, in Accrington. I actually only chose it six weeks before the wedding as I had a total change of heart about the first dress I had chosen from another bridal shop. Lee at the Bridal Lounge turned everything round within the time frame and made sure I had the perfect dress on the day. I teamed my dress with a long veil and wore bright red heels as a surprise for Dan (had to get a little nod to Liverpool FC in somewhere as I had refused it on every other thing he’d suggested!)
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September 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we’re delighted to be sharing the wedding of avid Brides Up North reader Julia, who vows to remain a follower of the blog, despite now being a Mrs (which is more than alright with us!).
Having waited patiently for a proposal from her beau, Julia was determined to stretch the wedding celebrations across more than just one day and so planned the big day bash for over the May bank holiday weekend.
Following a family tragedy the wedding was almost postponed, but brave Julia and her family decided that a happy day was what was needed, and included special and personal touches to mark their loss.
This wedding is filled of love and laughter as well as beautiful styling and lots of fizz. Big thanks to Julia for sharing this with us.
With images by Chiyo McMillan Photography.
julia says: Wayne and I had been together for ten years before he proposed. It was a running joke among our family and friends that he would never do it and all my hopes were beginning to fade. The proposal came following a stay at Slaley Hall in Hexham, to celebrate our ten year anniversary. Wayne suggested a walk before we set off home but I refused as it was raining and we had to get back for our dog, Lola. I wasn’t aware at the time, but he was then forced to drive the hour-long journey with the ring box shoved in the back pocket of his jeans. We arrived home and Wayne was very eager to take the dog for a walk – we did and after what seemed like miles he finally got down on one knee and proposed. We are away from each other so much as Wayne is in the army that our walks together are very precious, so it was the perfect time and setting. I, of course, said Yes!
We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016, however our celebrations lasted all weekend. We chose this date because it was the bank holiday weekend. We had a wedding rehearsal followed by pre-wedding drinks and nibbles on the Friday evening and hosted a post-wedding barbecue the day after. I had waited so long for this wedding that I had to stretch the celebrations out for as long as I could!
We did however almost postpone the wedding as my brother Alan died eight weeks before it was due to take place. He collapsed whilst running a half marathon on his 31st birthday. He was going to be an usher and master of ceremonies at our wedding. We considered putting the wedding back but in the end my parents persuaded us to go ahead and try to make it the happiest occasion possible, which we did.
We incorporated my brother into the day as much as we could. We celebrated him through a special prayer during the ceremony, mentioned him in the speeches and a toast, our favours were replaced with donations to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, in his memory and we invited his old school friends to attend the reception. I also had a charm with his photograph on that was attached to my bouquet. This was given to me by a friend ahead of the wedding and it meant so much to me – I hardly put my bouquet down all day.
Our chosen venue was The Yorkshire Wedding Barn, in Gilling West, near Richmond, North Yorkshire. We viewed just three venues in our search and after we had been to the barn we didn’t want to view anything else, it was perfect. Newly opened in 2014 by Amanda and Neville Bird, the venue has a newly converted modern barn with beams wrapped in fairy lights and offers a blank canvas for receptions. The barn is surrounded by holiday cottages, each with their own hot tub (plus a hot tub in a tree house in the bridal suite), and ‘glamping’ style shepherd’s huts, which can accommodate up to 30 guests. The venue is in a gorgeous setting and offers beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside.
We wanted somewhere that we could have exclusively for the whole weekend which also had plenty of room for people to stay and the barn ticked all of the boxes. So many people came up to us at the wedding and said how beautiful the venue was and we were even lucky enough to have sunshine over the weekend too!
We didn’t have a theme for the wedding to begin with, but whilst designing our stationery with A La Memoire we came up with a ‘country elegance’ theme, which seemed a perfect fit. This consisted of rustic elements such as wooden log slice centrepieces, wine boxes filled with flowers and hessian bunting teamed with pearls and lace for an elegant edge.
Ultimately we just wanted our wedding to be relaxed, full of fun, alcohol and good food, and for everyone to have a good time. We had so many people tell us that it was the best wedding that they had been to, so I think we succeeded in that!
When it came to the colour scheme we were quite laid back but knew we wanted muted, pretty pastels. Pink was the most dominate colour, which we used across all of the stationery and the flowers, the best men and usher’s ties were pink and my bridesmaids wore a pale lilac.
August 19th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today we’re heading North East on the blog to relive chic city wedding down by the Quayside in Newcastle.
Keen for a wedding that reflected them as a family and the city that they love, Jaimie and Gemma planned a glamorous wedding at the Malmaison hotel, complete with a personal ceremony and black tie dress code.
With images by Jamie Mcelderry Wedding Photographer.
gemma says: Jaimie proposed on Christmas day 2014. In January 2014, I gave birth to triplet boys and it was a pretty tough year for us as a family. By Christmas time, it felt as if we could take on anything! Jaimie hid the ring in the tree. He sat me and my daughter down and presented it to us both. Words actually failed him, I was stunned and we relied on my daughter to piece it all together!
We set the date for Monday 20th June 2016. We wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and non-traditional, which is why we chose to have it on a Monday.
Our venue was the Malmaison hotel on Newcastle’s quayside. It was perfect for us as it isn’t used for many weddings, which allowed us to really tailor the day to what we wanted. The decor has a really cool, urban chic vibe to it, which suits our modern taste. To top it all off, it’s in an amazing location overlooking the river.
Our whole ceremony was written with personal touches about us as a couple, but also as a family. We included lighting a unity candle as part of the ceremony and chose songs to feature throughout, including Beyonce and Jessica Glynne. I walked down the aisle to a mix of Disclosure and Sam Smith Latch. All our music was uplifting rather than romantic.
The style of our wedding was modern and glamorous, but in a minimal and informal way. We wanted to share our day with only our closest family and friends and wanted to give them an insight into our family and what is particularly special to us. No frills, no formalities.
I wanted everything to be really crisp, fresh and clean, so just kept to a white colour scheme with a few black touches. The male wedding party wore black tie and my two bridesmaids wore black too.
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