February 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride and groom visited Peckforton Castle and fell hard for the venue’s vintage, other-worldly charm – so much so that they introduced a subtle fairy-tale theme as they planned their wedding. Everything from the ornate script of their stationery, to the blossom trees lining the aisle, is a nod to the romance of a perfect storybook.
Charlotte looked every inch the perfect princess bride in her Diane Legrand gown and blue Manolo Blahniks, and she’s a girl after our own hearts – her advice to brides-to-be touring venues and bridal boutiques is, “Enjoy all of the free champagne”. We totally agree.
With photography by Adam Riley Photography
charlotte says: We got engaged on 18th June 2015 on a quiet beach in Portugal exactly nine years after we officially became a couple. Tom had set up his camera to record the whole proposal but told me that he wanted get some nice shots of us together using the self-timer on the camera. I had no idea that he would propose and instantly burst into tears (after saying yes, of course)!
We originally wanted the wedding to take place on 18th June 2016 (exactly one year after the proposal and ten years of being together) – however, when we found our dream venue they had no availability for that date. We tried to get it as close as we could and chose 7th July 2016.
We got married at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. It was the first venue we looked at and before we had even walked into the main grounds I was in tears – so were our mums! It just felt so magical and enchanting. When we walked into the Great Hall there were even more tears and we all knew that was the place where we wanted to make our promises to each other. We made a provisional booking there and then!
When we first started planning our day we didn’t have a theme in mind. We were getting married in a castle and thought vaguely about having a subtle fairy-tale theme. It wasn’t until we started thinking about our stationery and flowers that we really started to entertain the idea. Our invites were in the style of a vintage fairy-tale book complete with a drawing of the castle and a poem that we wrote ourselves which wouldn’t be out of place in a Dr Seuss book. Instead of table numbers we chose to write chapters of a book with each table having a chapter number and a short story of our relationship at that time. We called our top table ‘The Next Chapter…’
Colour-wise, we wanted to keep everything neutral and all our flowers were white with green accents. The bridesmaid’s dresses were a very soft pink and the boys’ morning suits were navy which provided a nice contrast.
My dress was by German designer Diane Legrand and purchased at Society Brides in Liverpool. When I originally set out to find the perfect dress I thought I wanted a simple fishtail – how wrong I was. After trying on a few dresses in this style I wasn’t really feeling like a ‘bride’ and decided to try on a princess style gown. I instantly fell in love with the style and quickly narrowed down my specifications: namely, lace bodice, detailing at the waist and a huge train! I then decided to go for a long double layer veil with lace detailing. I then finished my look with blue Manolo Blanhik shoes: my ‘something blue’.
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January 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a winter wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.
The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!
We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.
For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.
Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.
I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.
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March 30th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Carrying on the pretty pink theme from this morning’s post, we’re sharing Emily and Richard’s gorgeous wedding day which featured a timeless colour palette of white and pale pink.
Brimming with inspiration for you brides-to-be, there are so many stunning elements Emily and Richard’s big day, which they wanted to be personal and elegant with a few vintage touches mixed in. Mission accomplished we’d say!
With images by Helen Rose Photography.
emily says: We got engaged on my birthday in May 2015, during a special weekend trip to London. It was after a very romantic evening meal at the Chiltern Firehouse in the top of their old fire tower.
We set the date for 17th October 2015. I think autumn is the best time of year. The colours of the season and the crisp Yorkshire weather appealed hugely to me when choosing the date we were to marry.
Our ceremony was very traditional and very personal to us, held in our local church, which Richard also grew up attending. The vicar led the service, and the choir in their robes, made it all special. Our speakers read an excerpt from the bible and a Bruce Springsteen song we love called If I Should Fall Behind.
As a reception venue I always knew I wanted a marquee. Royd House Farm in Yorkshire is owned by Richard’s aunt and uncle, so we were thrilled when they’re offered their grounds for our reception. The house is set in beautiful countryside, and there are tiered levels that we used for the marquee and all the other aspects needed for the day. They have a decked area with a little summer house, surrounded by water and which we used for more photos. It felt so personal and we loved having this original venue.
January 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Well, yesterday was all kinds of exciting wasn’t it? Click here to catch up on our big news. Today, it’s back to basics, and what we do best – sharing the prettiest weddings to insire our readers’ own big days.
The first Real Wedding of 2015 is lovely in every way (just the way we like it on these pages), from the sweet vintage summer theme to the delicate flower choices and idyllic seaside location.
Chloe and Dan clearly have excellent taste with the bride opting for a wonderfully detailed Jenny Packham gown and the groom having a suit tailor made, including its very special lining. They even sourced a bow tie for their special guest, Winston the Golden Retriever, to ensure he fitted in with the celebrations.
The organised couple picked their food choices carefully in order to pull the look together. Guests were treated to ice creams on arrival, a quaint afternoon tea and fish and chip supper!
So let’s tuck in to this delicious celebration.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
chloe says: Dan proposed on a beach on a tiny island off the east coast of mainland Malaysia in 2012. It was a complete surprise and he had the very well travelled ring ready. It was after dinner and already rather dark and so my immediate response was ‘I can’t see it!’ before running off to find some light so I could get a good look at the ring. Not quite what Dan was hoping for but I did say ‘yes’ eventually!
We married on 26th July 2014. Exactly two years to the day that we became engaged.
We got married in St Oswald’s Church, Lythe in North Yorkshire. A beautiful old church overlooking the North Yorkshire coast. Our reception was held at Danby Castle on the North York Moors. We completely fell in love with the stunning views over the Esk Valley and the relaxed, can-do attitude of all of the wonderful people at Danby Castle. Nothing was too much trouble. We would highly recommend Danby Castle to other wedding couples. Jemma and Emily there both ensured the planning was as stress free as possible.
The theme for the day was relaxed vintage summer fayre. We didn’t want an overly stuffy or formal affair so this theme suited us well.
I struggled initially with the wedding dress hunt. I didn’t know what I was looking for, I just knew what I wasn’t looking for. I didn’t want a strapless gown (which at the time that I was looking was quite a challenge) and I wanted something a little different from the norm. After looking in a few boutiques and feeling a little despondent at the lack of variety in styles, I visited the wonderful White Room in Sheffield as I had seen online that they were stockists of Jenny Packham and Charlotte Pettibone. I initially tried on Jenny Packham’s Eden for a little bit of fun as I didn’t think I wanted a sparkly dress but I loved it. It was different, it was vintage inspired, it was me! My wedding shoes were from Manolo Blahnik and Debbie Carlisle of DC Bouquets made my beautiful hair comb and cuff.
Dan designed and had his suit made at A Suit That Fits in Manchester. It was a grey three piece suit and the pièce de résistance was the custom made jacket lining that Dan designed, full of photographs that meant something special to him. He teamed his suit with a checked shirt from Ralph Lauren and a pale blue tie from John Lewis.
We also had an extra special guest at our wedding – Winston, our Golden Retriever! He wore a blue bow tie to tie in with the groomsmen. Jackie from Supa Furry Animals handled him for us which was great as it meant that we could relax and enjoy ourselves without having to worry about taking care of Winston.
The bridesmaids wore pale coral dresses with a lace overlay from Monsoon. Unfortunately for me, by the time I discovered them on Pinterest and decided that they would fit the theme beautifully, they were no longer available in store. A mammoth eBay search ensued and luckily I managed to get my hands on four of them! The groomsmen wore grey suits of their choice and the each wore a pale blue tie from John Lewis to match Dan’s.
For our wedding transport we hired a camper van from All Cool Camper Hire. ‘Rose’ the 1965 campervan was beautifully retro and also practical – being big enough to transport all the bridesmaids to the church before coming back to collect my Dad and I.
Jo and Simon from Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers and were just wonderful. As someone who is admittedly not a massive fan of being in front of the camera, the idea of being the centre of attention for the day was a little daunting. However, from our very first meeting I knew that Jo and Simon would put me at ease as they are just such fun, gorgeous people who make you feel as though you have known them forever. I loved their informal, relaxed images and knew that they would do a fantastic job – which they did. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
In addition, the very talented Gareth Ashcroft created our three minute wedding video, which is fantastic. It captured the essence of the day beautifully and on the day he was so discrete that many of our guests didn’t even realise we were having a video made until we shared it with them later on!
Audrey Foster arranged my flowers. My brief to her was that I wanted rustic, relaxed, hand tied bouquets and she did a great job. Audrey Foster also decorated the church and Danby Castle for us. Heather and wheat was tied to the pew ends with raffia and vintage jugs church filled with an assortment of wild flowers and roses decorated the church. The theme was carried through to Danby Castle, where relaxed flower arrangements in small glass bottles and jars adorned the tables and window ledges. The flowers used included sweet avalanche and peach avalanche roses, veronica, nigella, gyp, china grass, fountain grass, astilbe, very pale pink spray roses, santini, dried lavender, white stocks or white larkspur, wax flower, white freesias, wheat, scabious seedheads, heather.
My favourite part of the day was as we left the church in the camper van to head for Danby Castle. All our guests had lined up spontaneously to wave us off. Looking out of the back window of the campervan and seeing so many of our favourite people all together – all of whom had travelled so far to come and wish us well was such an overwhelming feeling.
June 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, 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.
Kat and Ben’s Real Wedding by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography is filled with sequins, sparkle and beautiful details. This chic couple chose a very modern landmark venue in the North East and filled it with pretty, for a personal and precious celebration.
We’ll be back tomorrow to start 2014 as we mean to go on – beautifully – but for now, enjoy the last day of your holiday!
Kat says: We got engaged in March, 2013 – Easter weekend. Ben had arranged a meal out with both of our families and just before they arrived at our home he blindfolded me (after much persuasion, I had just done my hair!) and gave me an Easter present, which was a box of chocolates spelling out ‘will you marry me’. We then all went out in Durham for tapas and bubbles.
We got married on 16th November 2013 at The Baltic Mill, in Gateshead.
Ben’s family all live in Whitley Bay and mine live in Chester-le-Street. We are both proud North-Easterners and fell in love with the views of the Tyne that can be seen from inside The Baltic. The staff from Fresh Element, who plan events at The Baltic, were fantastic. Mary-Jane and Tracy in particular, went above and beyond to give us everything we wanted, and more.
Our theme was ‘glamorous’, with a silver and ivory colour scheme.
My bridesmaid’s dresses were silver and charcoal sequins from Phase Eight. They all looked a little too beautiful for my liking, I should have gone with peach taffeta!
I wanted something in the style of Grace Kelly but with a modern twist. My dress is by Moreland and I got it from Wedding Essentials in Newcastle. I fell in love with the low back and simple style.
I used www.16braunton.com for our hair pieces. Kate is wonderful. I emailed her photos of the details on my dress and she sent me photos of what she thought would match. I was so happy with them.
Nick from ND Makeup did my makeup as well as two of my bridesmaids. We all loved it and it honestly lasted all day.
Rachelle Summerson-Wright, my best friend and bridesmaid did my hair on the day, as well as the other bridesmaids. She is a very talented hairdresser so I am extremely lucky to count her as my BFF.
A special touch personally was my shoes. I am obsessed with Carrie Bradshaw and was so lucky to be treated by my parents to the same pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes she wore for her wedding in the Sex and the City film. I also had a pair of personalised converse with diamantes and my married name and wedding date on to change into for dancing the night away.
Jamie Penfold Photography was our wedding photographer. The pictures speak for themselves. Jamie is not only a talented photographer, but also a lovely person who put us both at ease.
I had a large bouquet of baby’s breath. The bridesmaids had smaller posies and the buttonholes were made up of baby’s breath as well. I wanted to keep the flowers as simple as possible.
Our best man’s wife, Wendy Johnson, is a talented cake maker so she made our cake for us. We had one lemon, one chocolate and one spice tier and it was decorated in lace effect icing. We had a personalised cake topper from Miss Cake, which read ‘Cakey Kisses From The Mr & Mrs’.
We used mini-frames with photos of each guest in, instead of name cards on the tables.
Terri Hosler did all our wedding stationery. She let me decide exactly what I wanted, from scratch, and all our guests commented on how beautiful the invitations were. She covered everything in silver glitter, so I was very happy!
Timeless Table Venue Styling provided decorations like wedding wish trees, candles and lanterns, throughout the day.
I really enjoyed the speeches (despite crying throughout). My dad, Ben and his best man Andrew all did amazingly well and I’m so glad we have them all caught on camera, by the lovely Andrew and Gail from A&G Productions.
We used the cinema room in The Baltic and played a slideshow of family photos and childhood snaps for all our guests.
We hired a vintage sweet cart from www.bonbonssweetsshakes.co.uk, who are based in Chester-le-Street. They were so helpful and we couldn’t recommend them enough.
We had flip flops for the ladies to change into when their feet hurt from their heels, pashminas for those who wanted to sit on the terrace outside, to keep them warm and umbrellas in case it rained, for the guests to help themselves to.
Ben is friends with a few members of an 8-piece band called Bay6. They played at a wedding we were guests at on New Year’s Eve and I fell in love with them. They did not disappoint on the day, we were dancing all night.
We also used Limelight Photo Booth Hire. The girls were lovely and our guests loved all the props, especially the horses head!
We had a cheeky week away in Tenerife, at Costa Adeje, a week after we got married. We plan to honeymoon properly next year … Ben is currently trying to convince me to go to Brazil in June so he can go to a World Cup match!
I was so nervous in the lead up to our day. I was worried about walking down the aisle, speaking in front of everyone, our first dance and pretty much everything else. From the second I woke up on my wedding day the nerves disappeared. I felt so laidback and happy, so my top tip for other Brides Up North is please don’t fret, you’ll enjoy every second, even if you usually hate being the centre of attention.
Congratulations Ben & Kat!
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April 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Who said pretty pastels couldn’t come with a huge dose of glamour? Today’s real bride Hayley and new husband Stephen are ripping up the rule book with their soft and stylish Real Wedding at Rockliffe Hall.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Lee Scullion.
Hayley says: We got engaged at the Burj al Arab, Dubai in February 2006. Steven proposed on Christmas day in 2005. We didn’t want a party so we celebrated our engagement with a trip Dubai to pick a ring.
We were married on 22nd September 2013 at Rockliffe Hall, Darlington. I wanted a classy and timeless wedding and Rockliffe offers modern and old mixed together. We had our ceremony in the old arches which offered a nicer feel than just a function room. The colour scheme is quite neutral which enabled us to go for any colour scheme we wanted.
We had lilacs, lavenders, ivories and a beautiful thistle colour in our stationery. Grey suits for the gents, accented with lilac cravats and handkerchiefs to give a subtle bit of colour to blend in with the rest of the wedding. My dress and the bridesmaids were all ivory. I wanted a neutral palette with the flowers taking centre stage.
My dress was from Solutions Bridal Designer House in Orlando Florida. The dress was antique ivory with ivory lace in a mermaid strapless fit. I opted for a very long veil trimmed in the same lace as the dress and a very glamorous belt made by Maria Elena and Manolo Blanik shoes with a beautiful vintage brooch on the front.
The hair was prepped by myself the evening before (I’m am a hairstylist) ready for my friend Carol-Anne Jenkinson who is the owner of Platinum Hair Design in Sunderland. She also did her magic on the bridal party. I had my makeup done by Amanda Bell Elite Makeup Artist.
Our flowers were by Adam Prest who is very unique in his work and knew exactly what I wanted. My bouquet consisted of a vibrant lilac roses, astrania, astilbe,clematis,snowberries and sweetpeas. They smelt beautiful. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of my flowers with a mix for the top table and centre pieces for the tables at the wedding breakfast. We also had similar mixture for the gents’ button holes and ladies’ corsages.
We had six bridesmaids from two years old to sixteen. The younger bridesmaids wore dresses from Monsoon and the two older bridesmaids wore a dress from Coast which was from the bridal range. I think they blended nicely together.
The groomsmen wore hired suits from Gavin Scott Menswear in Washington. The grooms suit was made by Ian Bone a visiting tailor. He came to our home and measured Steven up, we picked the material and and cut of the suit. It was a very professional and friendly service from Ian and we had two more fittings before the finished result.
Our photographer was the amazing Lee Scullion. We had a lot of recommendations from people but as soon as I saw Lee’s work I knew he was the man for the job.
Our videographers were Chris and Janet Hughes for One Digital Image – a great husband and wife team. They made a one minute video summarising the day so we could share with our guests and friends which was really unique in itself and was ready to view the following morning.
Our save the dates and invitations were by Noble Fine Art. They also made our favour boxes, the menu for the tables at the wedding breakfast and the seating plan in a beautiful pearl stock paper with thistle ribbon.
Simply Bows & Chair Covers dressed our tables with a new range of lace chair coverings.
We had handmade chocolates made for the favour boxes from Robineau Patisserie in Darlington and mini bottles of whiskey for the gents.
The cake was from Celebration Cakes in Peterlee, I scaled it down from the original design in the shop. It had six tiers with all different sponges and fruit cake. It had a pearl covering with roses and lace made from sugar paste and tied in with all the little elements from the wedding.
We had Val Boyers singer and guitarist singing during our wedding breakfast and a fantastic local band (Fate) singing live on the evening of the wedding.
Prime Entertainment provided Formula One cars which were very popular and we also hired Snaparazzi and their fabulous photo booth. We got a book of everyone’s photos who had been in the photo booth with a message alongside the photos which is a really nice and different keep sake.
I downloaded an app called Wedpics and invited all our guests to upload all their photos. I thought this to be better than having disposable cameras and it worked well.
Honeymoon wise, we’re are still working on that one, we want something different!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy and take every moment in because it goes over far too fast and don’t drink to much Champagne!
Congratulations Hayley & Stephen!
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