August 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though today’s couple remained in the north of the UK to tie the knot, they looked to the dreamy country of Italy to provide romantic influences to help set the scene for their big day.
A soft colour palette of pink and white reflected through Rachel’s choice of bridesmaid dresses and blooms created an elegant feel which was further enhanced with pretty lace additions in the bride’s dress, the stationery and décor.
When the big day came to an end, Rachel and Jonathan continued their love affair with Italy by jetting off to Venice on a five-day honeymoon. Oh, and the lucky little things have a second honeymoon to Mexico all lined up too. Jealous much?
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.
rachel says: We initially met very briefly at a bar in Darlington. Two weeks later we bumped into one another whilst out with friends in Yarm – the rest, as they say, is history! We had been together for five years when Jonathan proposed whilst we were on holiday on the island of Thassos in Greece, back in August 2013. He popped the question to me whilst we were sipping cocktails in a little bar overlooking the sea. I of course said ‘yes’ and we spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne and celebrating our news with the locals. I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning and amazing setting.
We got married on 4th May 2015. We both love every season for its uniqueness but chose May for our wedding month as we thought that the scenery at the chosen venue would be beautiful at that time of year. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the 4th May is also known as ‘Star Wars Day’ to its fans. Luckily all guests dressed suitably and there was not a fancy dress costume in sight!
We got married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. We found the venue from an article I was reading in a magazine. The article detailed how Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had visited the hall for his brother’s wedding and had stayed in the Crow’s Nest, a luxury self-contained apartment. We were amazed by the pictures of Eshott. We both fell in love with the stain glass window and staircase in the main part of the hall. We arranged an appointment to visit straight away.
Our theme was Italian romance as we wanted the day to be very elegant. To complement the theme we had a blush pink and white colour scheme with touches of lace, which emphasised the soft romantic feel we were looking for.
I had a few ideas of the type of dress I wanted and visited a number of bridal boutiques before going back to one of the first dresses I tried on at Dobinsons of Darlington. The dress was very ‘me’. It was a lace design with a sweetheart neckline by Stella York. I always knew I wanted lace and something figure hugging due to my petite frame. I decided to add a unique feature to the dress to make it my own and so Dobinson’s stitched a diamante belt into the gown. This finished it off perfectly and when the long veil went on, I was totally in love!
On the wedding day I used Paul David Hairdressers in Darlington to style my hair, and Make-up by Jo to do the beauty side of things. My makeup stayed fresh all day, and Jo gave such a professional service.
Jonathan wore a three piece blue suit hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.
The bridesmaids dresses were purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. Again to add some uniqueness to the dresses we purchased embellishments for the dresses and Poppy’s added these for us. We all agreed they looked perfect.
Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography took our wedding day photos. We knew from day one that they would be our perfect choice as they were the photographers at my sister’s wedding some nine years earlier. We both love Stan and Jane’s work and knew they would capture our very special moments. The experiences, from the pre wedding shoot, to the big day and then seeing our wedding pictures presented to us on a big screen, were all amazing. We felt that both Stan and Jane put in a lot of effort getting to know us. On the day they both made us feel at ease and felt like one of our friends. Having received our photos we would highly recommend Stan Seaton Photography. The photographs captured both myself and Jonathan’s personality and also special candid moments. We wanted the images to be elegant and romantic and we both feel that Stand and Jane instinctively understood this.
Due to our ceremony being held in the chapel, which was within the grounds of the venue, we did not have a need for transportation, however I was taken to the chapel in my father’s car which was beautifully decorated with wedding bows.
Our invitations were made by Polina Perri, who specialise in luxury/ vintage wedding invitations. They were beautifully presented and featured an antique brooch and lace.
Our flowers were provided by Eliza Bloom in Darlington. My bouquet was made up of pink and white roses. In the reading room/ chapel we had a tall candelabra with an arrangement on the register table and outside we had an arch decorated with flowers. In the wedding breakfast we had eight table candelabras with candles and flowers and an arrangement at the top table. The room looked so elegant and beautiful. When you see all the little touches coming together it really does take your breath away.
We gave our guests ‘his and hers’ favours in the form of alcohol miniatures; Baileys for the ladies and a selection for the men. For the children we had a chocolate pot from Hotel Chocolat.
Our cake was a work of art created by Burnett 4 Cakes and had a different flavour in each of the four tiers: chocolate orange, chocolate, lemon drizzle and sponge.
We choose the Chameleon Band to provide our entertainment. We researched a lot of bands but these came highly recommended and they were worth it, they even asked us for a list of ‘special songs’ for them to learn which they then played on the night. We also had a pianist playing at the reception, which was beautiful.
Following our wedding I would highly recommend Eshott Hall to other couples. It not only blew us away, but our guests can’t stop talking about it!
Our favourite part of the wedding had to be seeing each other for the first time on the day. We had spent so long preparing for our wedding day, that when the moment came and we finally saw each other we both got very emotional, as did the congregation.
When it came to the honeymoon we were spoilt and booked two! We went on a five night break to Venice, straight after the wedding. We loved it, we transferred to and from Venice in a private speedboat and stayed in an amazing hotel Carlton on the Grand. Our room there overlooked the Grand Canal – it was truly amazing, we felt like royalty. We had some fantastic experiences in a variety of excellent restaurants, a trip we will never forget!
We now look forward to heading to Mexico for two weeks, where our days will be filled lounging on the golden sands by the beautiful sea and then on an evening we will be spoilt with some amazing food in some fabulous restaurants sipping cocktails at the Excellence Riviera Hotel as husband and wife!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be to savour every moment as the day goes by so quickly.
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July 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding took place at a quirky hotel and restaurant that has a sort of anything goes feel to it with its mismatched décor and furnishings. Rather than try and impose a set theme on such an individual venue, bride and groom Ann-Marie and Matthew cleverly blended styles they love into the setting for an elegant yet eclectic wedding day.
We love the 1950s influences in the bride and maid of honour’s dresses as well as the groom’s slightly unusual pale blue suit and patterned tie combo. Elsewhere there are pretty shabby chic touches in the décor and a country garden theme running through the flowers and cake designs.
Oh, and Ann-Marie didn’t just go for one ‘something blue’ but instead lots, with a colour palette made up of varying shades of the cool hue.
With images from Michael Cartwright Photography.
ann-marie says: We got engaged on 20th April 2013 at Drybeck Farm in Cumbria. It was our anniversary weekend and Matthew had booked a weekend to Drybeck Farm as a surprise. Drybeck was our first weekend away together when we first met so Matthew thought it would be romantic to rekindle the early days. Matthew had been working during the day and came back at lunch time to get ready and go. I jokingly asked him “Have you forgotten anything? Like a ring?” to which he replied “Seriously? You do know there isn’t a ring, don’t you?” That was enough to put me off the scent.
I’d made a lamb stew to take with us that we cooked over an open fire and we sat and drank red wine and ate stew and tiger bread under the stars, wrapped in blankets. Matthew finally popped the question down on one knee on the banks of the River Eden. I of course said a massive yes!
We decided on 24th May 2015 as our wedding date and chose The Crab & Lobster near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, as our venue. We knew the hotel and restaurant because of its reputation in fine dining but we had never been to stay before. We went to a wedding open day and suddenly everything fell into place. The gardens are beautiful and the hotel is so wonderfully quirky that we instantly fell in love with it.
We wanted our wedding to be laid back but still beautiful. One of our major turn offs with all things wedding was the ‘fake grandeur’ that is automatically pushed on brides. We also didn’t like the idea of an outright theme. We preferred just to choose all the things we liked and try to link them together. If we had to try and shoehorn our wedding into any kind of theme I suppose it would be ‘50s shabby chic, English country garden glamour’ (if that can be a theme?).
This eclectic mix of styles matches our personalities and went perfectly with the venue, which is a mismatch of all sorts of memorabilia and oddities.
We chose blue for our colour scheme. We didn’t make any decision on one particular type of blue and decided to have a wonderful mix of shades and hues that all complemented each other. We used white and ivory with a touch of peach to complement the blues. On reason for choosing blue was because of its association with luck at weddings and we thought why stop at one ‘something blue’ when it can all be blue!
My dress was a 50s style ball gown by Justin Alexander and bought from Just Perfect at Shotton Colliery. It had a boat neckline and pleated sash waist with a small detailing of crystals and pearls. The dress was plain ivory silk and had a train. On my feet I wore peacock blue peep toe shoes from Faith, which had a T-bar encrusted in diamantes and peals.
My headpiece was custom made by The Libertarian. It was an ivory silk flower with crystals and pearls in the centre and a short 50s style veil with a sprinkling of diamantes. The crystals on the flower were my ‘something old’ and had been taken from a necklace my Grandmother left to me. My earrings were custom made by Mobeus in Hartlepool which also used the crystals from my Grandmother’s old necklace. Finally, I wore a jersey pearl bracelet that I borrowed from our daughter (she was bought it as a christening present).
Matthew wore a pale blue suit from Psyche in Middlesbrough with a coordinating dark blue tweed waistcoat from Debenhams. His shirt was plain white from M&S and shoes were brown brogues from Just Perfect Menswear at Shotton Colliery. Matthew’s tie and pocket square were from an online retailer called Dancys.
Our maid of honour wore a royal blue 50s style dress by LouLou Bridal and our flower girl wore an ivory satin and tulle ballerina style dress both bought from Just Perfect at Shotton Colliery. Their head pieces were both custom made by The Libertarian and featured handmade and custom dyed silk flowers.
The groomsmen all wore a suit of their choice with white M&S shirts and ties from Dancys. Our page boys wore pale blue linen suites from Next with coordinating bow-ties from Dancys.
Michael of Michael Cartwright Photography took our photographs. Michael is an old school friend of mine so we knew that we would be hiring a photographer that could put us at ease and who knew our personalities and tastes. Michael did a fantastic job of capturing the day without lots of posed or staged photos that will age and go out of fashion. We have ended up with a wonderful pictorial story of our day that will stand the test of time. Michael was a true professional and was so great at taking candid photos. We hardly even knew he was there throughout the day but we still got more than 1,000 pictures to choose from.
I carried a bouquet of wild and garden flowers in a range of blue and lavender tones including forget-me-nots, scabious, cornflowers, roses, lisianthus. They were tied with a bow with long tendrils of multi-coloured ribbons in different widths and textures. The brief to the florist was that I wanted to look like I had walked through a beautiful meadow and country garden and collected my flowers on the way to the ceremony – they did not disappoint.
The flowers were from Flowerhouse in Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees which until recently was my brother’s business which he and my mum started more than ten years ago. Ever since I was small I have grown up around flowers and flower shops as my mum has been an award winning florist for 50 years. I knew from being a little girl that the most special thing was for my mum to do my wedding flowers and with the help of the staff at Flowerhouse that wish came true and the flowers were spectacular!
Our table decorations were lots of smaller bunches of flowers using the same flowers as my bouquet. These were in jam jars which I decorated with ribbons and lace. Again the flowers were from Flowerhouse. We also decorated the tables with smaller jars with tea lights in them and set the table settings with sprigs of lavender and corn from Shropshire Petals, who also supplied our confetti.
I made all the decorations for the day including a number of hand painted signs and more than 30 metres of bunting as well as burlap signs and ribbon wands for the little people to carry. Instead of a guestbook I also made a hand painted canvas which everyone could write their messages on which has given us a beautiful momentum of the day.
As favours, each guest was given a packet of forget-me-not seeds from Not on the High Street. Due to the huge number of flowers at the wedding, each couple also got to take home a jar of fresh flowers at the end of the night.
We chose a three tier cake with a different flavour for each tier – fruit, chocolate and vanilla. A friend of ours (Jenny) made the cakes and a friend of my mum’s iced them for us. It was decorated with fresh flowers from Flowerhouse and a bunting cake topper from Beautiful Greys, a shop on Facebook.
Additionally we had a cheese and pork pie wedding cake from Earls Cheese Wedding Cakes in Stockton, which doubled as our evening buffet. This was topped with bride and groom mice from Cotton Reel Crafts. We served the wedding cake on the evening as dessert.
To keep guests entertained we had a jazz duo welcoming everyone to the ceremony and then playing in the gardens afterward. They were the Crab and Lobster resident musicians, Muttonchops, and were a fantastic addition to our day. During the ceremony Matthew’s brother, Robbie, and my friend Angela gave a rendition of Songbird by Oasis which was very special to us. On the evening we decided to have a jukebox instead of a DJ. That way the dancefloor was always full because the music was chosen by the guests.
To make the day all the more special we added a few individual touches, including inviting our guests to take part in a competition at The Crab and Lobster’s one-hole golf course to win a bottle of bubbles. It was a fun little addition and everyone had a go at getting their ball closest to the flag.
We would recommend all of our suppliers, they each provided exactly what we wished for and were full of professionalism. We would also definitely recommend our venue to other couples. It was so fantastic in every way. The staff were wonderfully attentive and understood our vision from the outset and ensured that everything went swimmingly. They were very willing for us to completely take over and decorate everything in sight and change things around as we saw fit. The wedding coordinator, John Lacey, was fantastic and couldn’t do enough for us – from helping me to change my shoes, to standing up ladders hanging bunting, carving up enormous pork pies and helping our daughter up and down the patio steps.
I don’t think we could pick a favourite part of the day as it was all absolutely amazing. That said, our highlights would include; seeing each other for the first time, spending an entire day with all the people we love and dancing the night away to a plethora of retro tunes!
For our honeymoon we had four nights at Peacock Pavilions just outside of Marrakech in Morocco. It was a wonderfully relaxing break full of delicious food and exploration. We were fully spoilt at Peacock Pavilions with private dining in a hand painted Berber tent, a private screening of Casablanca in an outdoor cinema with cocktails and a bridal henna party for me. No stone was unturned at this wonderful quirky little oasis. Pure bliss!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to start early! If you are anything like us and want to do a lot of work yourself or are interested in the finer details you need as much time as possible. We spent two years planning and it was only just enough time. We had an amazing day and all of the extra effort, hard work and sometimes stress was worth it all for the perfect amazing day.continue reading
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December 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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May 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Completely blowing the theory that “red and green should never be seen”, flame haired beauty Lucy and her new husband Kev chose a fresh and fruity backdrop for their fun and fabulous Real Wedding in North Yorkshire.
With images by Nigel Playle Photography.
Lucy says: We got engaged in June 2014 at home before we travelled to London to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Hackney to celebrate! I was trying to eat my breakfast when Kev got down on one knee. He wanted to propose in London but couldn’t handle the pressure of not losing the ring before he did it!
We got married on Saturday 5th April 2014 in Long Newton, Stockton-On-Tees. It was the church where my parents got married and also where I was christened. We then had our reception at Solberge Hall, just near to Northallerton.
We wanted somewhere that had an intimate feel to it but big enough for our wedding and as soon as we drove up the winding drive and saw Solberge Hall we knew it was for us. Set in an idyllic country surrounding, the views were beautiful and it was everything we wanted in a venue.
The theme started with the colour green and kind of expanded from there into incorporating different hues of green throughout the day. I also just wanted everyone to have a good time so there were plenty of fun elements like a sweep for The Grand National that took place on our wedding day and also one for the speeches so everyone was involved.
My dress was an ivory fishtail lace gown by Enzoani from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I had no idea what type of dress I wanted and must have tried on at least 30. They only had this dress in black in the shop and as soon as I put it on I loved it and the ivory was just as beautiful! I originally didn’t want a veil but the veil I chose was also lace and complemented the dress perfectly so the decision was easy!
My shoes I got from Karen Millen in the sale and these turned out to be the hardest part of the outfit to find!
The bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses in Apple Slice. My chief bridesmaid wore a slighter darker green and the sleeves were interchangeable so the bridesmaids could wear them however they wanted. The groomsmen wore dark grey suits from Butterflies in Stockton and green socks of course to go with the theme!
We all went to Saks in Yarm on the morning of the wedding to get our hair done and they did a great job with very different hair for everyone! The florists provided me with some glitter covered flowers to put in my hair and it looked amazing when the light caught it.
Jo from Make Up by Jo did my make up and I loved it, it was very natural with a smoky eye and was just what I wanted!
I carried a beautiful bouquet of white flowers including tulips, ranunculus and anemones. I wanted to use spring flowers and for everything to look really fresh. Flowerhouse in Stockton did a fantastic job with them.
Our photographer was Nigel Playle Photography and he captured the day perfectly and I never felt that too much time was spent taking photos. He was so good at making us feel relaxed. He also set up a propbox for the evening so guests could get dressed up and have photos taken. This was so much fun!
One of our very creative friends made all of our stationery for us and she was a godsend as she had some great ideas and everything looked so good. One less thing for me to worry about!
We used apples as place cards to fit in with the green theme and cut out some gold leaves with names on them to attach. These really looked great on the tables with table numbers made out of moss which our friend also made.
We had a singer, Samantha Durnan performing as guests arrived and also after the wedding breakfast. She was fantastic and really set the tone for the day.
We also had a magician, Luke Howells, who my bridesmaids paid for as a wedding gift. We had seen him at a previous wedding and he really wowed everyone and created a bit of fun which we wanted for the day.
My favourite part of the day (aside from the actually ceremony which I loved as our vicar really made it special) was when we were announced into the wedding breakfast and the master of ceremonies asked everyone to raise their glasses and as we had sunglasses as favours everyone put them on for when we entered the room!
Our favours were one of my favourite things from the day. The personalised sunglasses were in two different colours of green, lighter green for the ladies and darker green for the gents. Everyone loved these and we got some fantastic pictures of all our guests wearing them. I got a lot of photos after the wedding of everyone’s children wearing them which I loved!
We chose a three tier cake but had the tiers set out on different levels. They were made to look like presents with green ribbon and also had sugar apples and anemones to bring in different themes from the wedding. This was made by Fairycakes & Co and I was so happy with it.
We went to Cuba on honeymoon for two weeks. We travelled to Havana for two days whilst we were there to experience the ‘real’ Cuba and it was fantastic!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to just enjoy your day as much as you can, it really does disappear so spend as much time with the people you care about as possible and have fun. Don’t worry about the small things, everything will fall into place just as you planned!
Congratulations Lucy & Kev!
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March 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I know all you Yorkshire ladies have our fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at The Mansion in your diaries for this Sunday 16th March, right? If you don’t, click here for all the details of this stunning show (super chic and one of my very favourites in our entire calendar). But for our North East sisters who are still in need of a dose of the pretty – even following our massive Brides Up North Super Showcase event last weekend, if you’re still standing – our friends at Unveiled Magazine (a new title for whom I’m a regular feature columnist) would like to invite you to something rather beautiful, somewhere rather beautiful…
Jane of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Stan Seaton Photography says: We had heard so much about the historic Grade II listed building Lartington Hall, which is based just outside Barnard Castle in Co. Durham. When we were approached by Unveiled Magazine to do a photo shoot to promote this newly refurbished, amazing wedding venue camera bags were immediately at the ready, lenses cleaned and primed, cards formatted and we were raring to go.
It was a pleasure, as always, to work with make up artist Jo Leversuch from Make up by Jo, Becci Evemy from Hair by Becci and Anna who was the model we also used for the iconic image featured on the front cover of the first edition of Unveiled. We arrived at Jo’s bright and early as we wanted to start photographing by mid morning due to the winter light being rather unpredictable.
On driving through the gateway to Lartington we were certainly not disappointed, the impressive drive up to the Hall itself fills you with a great sense of anticipation before you even arrive on the drive. Once inside Lartington Hall, we were warmly welcomed by John Harper-Wilkes who along with his wife Shona has lovingly and without compromise restored this beautiful building back to it’s former glory.
It was lovely to hear some of history attached to Lartington Hall. Throughout it’s history this beautiful house has always been used for parties, making it an ideal location to host the biggest party of a couple’s life. This quintessential English country house, with it’s elegantly decorated reception rooms and bedroom suites, not to mention the amazing ballroom, certainly can boast the claim of being the perfect location for that fairy-tale Wedding.
The beautiful bridal gowns were by two of our favourite wedding dress designers Maggie Sottero and Ian Stuart and were supplied by Poppy Bridal of Darlington. Flowers for the shoot were very kindly supplied and delivered by Flowers by Nattrass of Darlington.
Craig at Unveiled Magazine says: We cannot wait to open the doors to this fabulous venue on Sunday. Lartington Hall, based just outside of Barnard Castle is an exclusive hire wedding venue just outside of Barnard Castle, and it is going to be very popular indeed! With twelve beautiful en-suite bedrooms, ballroom, grand corridor, chapel and romantic gardens, there’s plenty to take your fancy.
Think of Lartington Hall not as a hotel but as your very own private countryside hideaway. The delightfully unexpected happens at Lartington Hall where no two events are ever the same. We are passionate about every detail at Lartington Hall. Whatever your event or special occasion, it will be unique to you and your guests – Uncover your own Lartington surprises!
Playing host to globally recognised fashion shoots with its sumptuous furnishings, BOSE music systems and precious antiques, Lartington Hall is as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside! Authentic and tasteful, it’s stylish yet welcoming. Nestled in 75 acres of romantic parkland, it’s a piece of heaven in a tranquil haven.
Lartington Hall will be open on Sunday 16th March 2014, from 11am till 3pm. Click here for more details.
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February 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’ve been shouting loudly on these pretty pages about our fabulous Luxury Wedding Exhibition coming up at Allerton Castle this weekend (you ARE coming, aren’t you?), and this morning’s Real Wedding is just a little reminder of why I am so passionate about this beautiful venue.
Stylish ballerinas (how cool is that – dream job alert!) Hannah & Kenny chose this elegant setting for their beautiful, fun and touching big day. With lots of luxury additions and a good dose of craft, this stunning couple’s celebration was both grand and personal. Just lovely and – as Hannah is a dedicated Brides Up North reader – watch out for lots of our Featured Suppliers popping up too!
With images by Joe Dodsworth Photography.
Hannah says: We got engaged in July 2011 in Sri Lanka whilst on holiday, Kenny organised a private dinner on the beach. It was really one of the best moments of my life! I am a huge fan of Brides Up North and just lived on it in the prep for our wedding!
We were married on 28th June 2013 at Allerton Castle, Knaresborough. We chose the venue because it has such a sense of occasion and it’s all exclusive to you and your wedding party for the day.
We just wanted to have a fantastic day and an awesome party! We didn’t set on any one colour or theme. We just chose items and colours that we liked and we felt went with the surroundings.
I wanted a dress I felt comfortable in and could move in but I still wanted it to be a wedding gown, something that you would only wear on your wedding day. I also really wanted Kenny to love it, and he has great taste so I did find the whole shopping for the dress surprisingly stressful. I went for a Jenny Packham ‘Lady Astor’ from The White Room in Sheffield. Chloe at The White Room is excellent and made the whole experience simple and yet still special. I treated myself to a pair of Christian Louboutin heels (I saved £1 a day for a year and a bit) and then I had a simple pair of earrings from Carat, a hair band from Jenny Packham (which I got on ebay) and a silver bracelet that Kenny had given me for my 21st birthday.
Kenny found a great outfit from Vivienne Westwood that was just right for him, individual and a nod to his Scottish heritage.
The bridesmaids wore Sapphire blue dresses from Dessy and they each had a pair of silver shoes from various places, wherever we found ones they liked! The best men had suits from Zara and our dad’s had suits from M&S, all the men had waistcoats that my Dad helped us organise from a tailor in Somerset.
I carried a bouquet of roses, lisianthu and gypsophila. My bridesmaids had very similar ones and the men all had roses or acanthium for button holes. My mum did all the flowers herself!
Joe Dodsworth was our photographer and Will at Cine Reportage filmed the day on super 8mm, both of these guys are great and real artists in their field.
I really enjoy a bit of crafting when I get time, so I had a go at adding lots of bits and bobs. I collected items from the time we got engaged, some things made the cut, other items are still in my loft. I made the table plan, place names with mini sweet jars, a letter box for cards and notelets that guest filled in instead of a guest book and the sweet buffet all the decorations for the staircase and the tables. It all took a long time but I enjoyed it and when I looked around on the day and saw all the bits and bobs that we had put all that effort into it felt like our day.
The ceremony itself was very special and like nothing we have experienced before, but every stage of the wedding was just wonderful. Getting ready with my bridesmaids, mum and mother in law in the morning, seeing each other at the altar, chatting with my dear friends after the ceremony, wondering around the grounds having our photos taken when the sun decided to show up (!) and the party and fireworks and the great food.
We are both professional ballet dancers so live music is a huge part of our lives and we really wanted to include that in our day. We were really lucky and had a singer for our ceremony and a band called Func On The Rocks for the evening. Other than that we had a huge box of garden games that went down a treat! Kenny’s parents treated us to a firework display which was so cool, by Ferrensby Fireworks.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Singapore and Koh Samui in Thailand.
I got really lucky and won the money to pay for our wedding, so we didn’t have that worry but before I did that we had financial concerns. Please believe me when I say you really don’t need to spend a lot to have the time of your life. You are so lucky to have met that person you are ready to live your life with and those feelings will be felt 100 times over on the day and that is what is so remarkable about your wedding day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take a few moments to step back and view what is your day, and don’t rush, relax and be in the moment. Our families really enjoyed being involved and so hand out jobs big or small and give your people little bits of the day that they had a hand in. I dried my bouquet and have it in a vase and think of my mum when ever I see it. Just think about what is important to you as a couple and what you would like to have as your memories after the big day and go from there.
Congratulations Hannah & Kenny!
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