January 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Though the temperatures outdoors are dropping, we have something guaranteed to warm up your day – the Moroccan themed wedding of Jen and Marc. Taking inspiration from her travels in North Africa, bride Jen chose vibrant colours and authentic décor, such as ornate metal lanterns, to style their big day.
We love the warm rich tones that feature and also have a huge soft spot for Jen’s Maggie Sottero gown and gorgeous bouquet!
Though Jen says she felt the pressure when planning her big day, we think she did a sterling job!
With images by Kyle Hassall Photography.
jen says: Marc proposed when we were on holiday in Barbados. It was completely unexpected!
We got married on 15th August because Marc’s dad offered us the use of his beautiful garden for a marquee wedding and so it had to be a summer date to accommodate UK weather! I didn’t want to spend too long planning the wedding and felt I could turn it around within eight months.
Our ceremony was at Chester Town Hall. We chose it because it was close to Marc’s dad’s house where our reception would be reception.
The wedding had a very loose North Africa/Morocco theme. I really wanted to incorporate such influences into our traditional English country wedding as I lived in the Middle East and North Africa for a time and still travel there. The colour scheme was slightly out of control as I’m a big fan of bright colours! I wanted all the flowers and décor to be warm and bright. So orange appeared to be the dominant colour but it was more of an evolution than a conscious choice.
January 5th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
So here we go, 2016! To get our New Year off to a gorgeous start we’re heading north to bonny Scotland to relive the big day celebrations of Louise and Duncan.
Keen to incorporate parts of her past into her future, Louise chose to wear her mum’s French lace wedding dress that had been carefully stored away in the attic for 35 years. With a few alterations by a dressmaker, Louise created her dream dress, turning something old into something new and proving that the tradition can still work for modern day brides. We love!
With images by Green Wedding Photography.
louise says: Our engagement story isn’t the conventional romantic type, but in our own personal way it was perfect for us as a couple. Dunc and I used to drive to a lovely forest near Dundee called Tentsmuir in the days when we first started dating. We would drive there in the evening and look at the stars through the sun roof of his 20 year old Honda Prelude! It was here that we had our first kiss and so was such a special location for us. One evening we drove to Tentsmuir Forest under an incredibly clear, starry sky. I was standing out of the sun roof of his car, enjoying the peaceful evening and trying to spot shooting stars, I glanced down to see Dunc awkwardly balanced on one knee on the driver’s seat with a ring in his hand. He quite nervously asked if I would marry him, and I of course said yes, but couldn’t help but laugh at the comical aspects of the situation.
We got married on 22nd April 2014, at Dalhousie Castle, near Edinburgh. It is a beautiful old castle, dating back to the 13th century. It has all the old features and is decorated and furnished appropriately, which we both loved. It also has a quaint little chapel for the ceremony to take place. It really had everything we were looking for in a castle wedding venue. After seeing Dalhousie for the first time, we knew we didn’t have to look anywhere else.
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December 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Not long until Santa comes to town now! But before he delivers presents from your nearest and dearest, we’re bringing you two delightful real weddings as our gift to you.
To kick things off this morning we’re heading to a farm in Sheffield for the stunning wedding of Charlotte and Adam.
We absolutely love the creativity that has been used by this couple to transform a bare shell of a barn into a romantic & unique wedding venue, complete botanical charm. Truly inspiring!
With images by Bethany Clarke Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged in Verona, Italy, the home of Romeo and Juliet, about a year before the wedding. Adam proposed on the balcony before sunset, then we drank a hell of a lot of prosecco to celebrate!
Our wedding was on 1st August 2015. We planned it hoping for a sunny day. We got a bit of a mixed bag, but the sun came out for our photos.
We got married at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield, near the peak district and were the first people to have our ceremony there as well as our reception. We chose the venue, as once we had rented the barn we were pretty much free to do whatever we wanted and we really wanted that kind of freedom.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but I really wanted to have as much greenery as possible. We were very lucky to have the help of a family friend who is an avid gardener and who helped us to create the leafy decoration, as well as, mine and my bridesmaids’ bouquets. This was great as it meant we didn’t have to fork out for florist flowers.
The colour scheme ended up being white and green. We covered as much as possible in leafy greenery and the bridesmaid dresses had a green, tropical print. I think it turned out quite pretty.
December 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
It might be Monday, but it’s the last Monday before Christmas which makes it bearable, right? And to ease you into these last few working days before the festive break we have something truly beautiful to share with you – the wedding of Lauren and Lee.
Now this is a couple with impeccable taste who know that you don’t have to go OTT to make a statement. The understated beauty of this wedding is what makes it so special and easy on the eye.
From the chic colour scheme and soft blousy blooms, to the elegant décor and that swoon-worthy Jenny Packham gown (complete with Nana Choos), guys – you nailed it!
With images by Sarah Mason Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged after being together for six years in November 2013. We’d recently moved into our first house together and so Lee proposed at home in our front room, out of the blue after I got home from work one night. I work in retail management, so hours around Christmas time are long and stressful, coming home from work to a proposal at 11pm was definitely a welcome surprise although I was entirely lost for words!
We got married on Sunday 30th August 2015, which was the Bank Holiday weekend. We wanted people to have a little longer to enjoy the celebrations, and be able to travel to the venue and relax the day before. My parents wedding anniversary is on the 31st, and they were celebrating their 30th anniversary this year so it felt like a way to share to celebrations while everyone was together.
We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. We live just outside of Manchester now, but met in Leeds which is where Lee is originally from and where I went to university. We looked around a lot of venues, across the North West and Yorkshire, and found a lot of places only ticked a couple of boxes. One of my bridesmaids suggested Oulton Hall, as she’d looked at it before deciding to get married abroad instead. We fell in love with how it was so grand but in an understated way, and felt really warm. The décor of the Repton Room was something nowhere else had and fitted in with a lot of ideas I’d already had about the wedding. We also liked the idea that the reception is held in another part of the hotel, at The Claret Jug in the golf clubhouse. It was nice to have a change of scenery and have a different ambience for the evening reception.
Another reason we chose a venue in Leeds was because Lee’s dad sadly passed away in 2005 and is buried at the cemetery around the corner from Oulton Hall. It was nice to think although he couldn’t be there, he wasn’t too far away.
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November 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
No matter what your current mood, today’s real wedding is utterly uplifting thanks to its summery colour scheme and the huge smiles on everybody’s faces (especially Clare and Charlie’s)!
We love the fab choice of venues, simple styling and pops of colour, which all in all make for a bright and breezy big day.
With images by Kate Scott Photography.
clare says: We got engaged on the beach on Christmas Day in Sri Lanka. He disguised it by putting it in a larger box to try and throw me off the scent but I knew something was up when he started doing up his shoelaces on one knee!
We got married on 18th July 2015, we knew we wanted a summer wedding and that gave us 18 months to get everything sorted.
The marriage ceremony was held at the beautiful Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, Lancaster. I’m from Lancaster so know the building well, it is totally unique sitting on a hill looking down at the city. The park surrounding it is stunning too and has its very own Victorian butterfly house.
The reception was held at Forrest Hills, just outside Lancaster. I was so lucky to have found this venue, it is such as hidden gem; a quirky thatched building in its own little valley, surrounded by countryside and looking out onto its own private lake.
November 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This morning on the blog we’re travelling to the beautiful Lakes to relive Emily and Neil’s big day.`
Following a proposal at the top of Coniston Old Man, Emily and Neil felt it fitting to hold their wedding in the Lake District too, and so decided on a relaxed & homemade affair in a venue at the base of the mountain where they got engaged.
So grab your walking boots and trekking poles, as we join the happy couple in Cumbria.
With images from Darren Athersmith.
emily says: We got engaged in January 2014, it was a surprise engagement at the top of Coniston Old Man, Neil had asked my dad the day before, he planned to be at the top for sunrise however the top was covered in a snow blizzard so it was an icy proposal but we soon dropped down out of the blizzard to a lovely January sunrise.
Our wedding was on the 25th July 2015; we chose the date as Neil is a school teacher so we wanted to tie it into his school holidays.
We got married at Coniston Coppermines Mountain Cottages – we chose the venue as we live locally and both love the Lake District. We are at our happiest when up in the hills and knew we didn’t want a traditional church/hotel wedding. We also felt it so fitting that there was a wedding venue at the base of the mountain we go engaged at the top of. We loved the flexibility that the Coppermines offered us, the venue being ours for the whole weekend. We wanted guests to have a mini holiday as well as celebrating our marriage, plus we wanted family and friends travelling from around the country to see the surroundings we love. We had a marquee put up on the side of the cottages by Evans Marquee Hire, the front elevation of the marquee was all windows to make the most of the beautiful views down the valley towards Coniston Water.
We wanted a small intimate ceremony of just our immediate family, then as we were away having some photos taken our guests arrived for afternoon tea, it was great to get back to find everyone had joined us. More friends and family then joined us in the evening for the party.
We didn’t want a themed wedding and wanted the feel of the wedding to be relaxed and to suit the mountainous surroundings so all materials were natural and rustic. It was important to us that as much of the wedding as possible was home made. We didn’t want the wedding to be just about one day; it was a real family effort over the 18 months of our engagement. We did call on friends for help too – my good friend and owner of Dotty Flamingo laser cut the lace design on our wedding stationery and I then put together the cards for invitations and place names.
I didn’t want a colour scheme as such either and so had limited colour palette of white and natural tones. I wanted to use varying materials rather than have a ‘colour theme’ I loved the contrast of using the hessian and lace together teamed with simple flowers and lots of timber.
My fair colouring and red hair means white just washes me out so I found a nude coloured wedding dress online that had the warmth I needed and my mum was able to customise it for me. I chose a tea length dress as I didn’t want to spend the day worrying about my dress trailing on the ground as I knew we would be having photos taken in the mountainous surroundings.
The only splash of colour I had was my bright orange hunter wellies – thankfully the weather was glorious so the wellies weren’t critical. My shoes were from Dune, they were the same nude tone as my dress and had coloured stones on the T-bar. I got the same shoes in flats and heels if I needed to change for the dancing later in the night. I liked the fact that the shoes weren’t traditionally bridal so I could wear them after the wedding.
I made my hair piece myself, I bought a selection of wires and beads from Bojangle Beads in Loughborough and twisted the beads and wire around a thin gold Alice band. My jewellery was all borrowed from my mum, I wore pearl stud earrings, bracelet and pendant. My mum always used to wear the pendant when I was a child, it brings back lovely childhood memories every time I see it so I wanted to wear it on the day.
Neil wore a grey-brown slim fit tweed wool suit from Next.
Our two nieces (18-months-old and 4-years-old) were flower girls and wore sundresses from Marks and Spencer, in a soft mint green with flowery lace overlay and shoes from Next.
Our photographer was locally based Darren Athersmith. As soon as we met Darren we knew he was the photographer for us, not only did we want him to capture our wedding day, it was important to capture the mountain landscape we were in and he has a love of Lakeland landscape photography as well as portraits. We didn’t want any formal posed line up photos, we just wanted him to disappear into the day and capture us, our family and friends enjoying themselves again keeping that relaxed feel to the day. His whole approach is relaxed and puts you immediately at ease.
I wanted all white flowers and grew our own sweet peas that I had in my bouquet, they are my favourite flowers, and I love the scent.
We also grew other flowers to be dotted around the venue; we then topped up the flowers with green foliage from the garden and bought some white stocks, freesia (again for their scent) and sprays of gypsophila.
We made an arbour from silver birch branches that we added to with greenery from the garden, it was great as a natural frame for some of the photos. As an extra special touch, we used my grandad’s old watering can and steel bucket to arrange some flowers in, it was a small touch that meant a lot to me.
We made silver birch candle holders and jam jars covered in hessian and lace as small flower vases for the table centre pieces. Our table names were all mountains we have summited.
As mentioned the wedding was a real family effort and everyone pitched in to help. Mum and I set about making all the bunting that adorned the ceiling of the marquee, it took months and months to make, but was well worth it. The most special flags have lace that my mum took from her own wedding dress for us to use.
My dad made planters from old pallets that we put branches into with fairy lights on, they were a great backdrop during the day behind Neil and I during the afternoon tea and looked lovely when lit up in the evening.
Being outdoorsy we wanted favours that would remind guests of the day longer than just a mouthful of sugared almond so we made seed packets for each guest to take away to (hopefully) plant, grow and enjoy.
Neil’s mum made the three tiers of fruit wedding cake for us and I decorated it myself with lots of advice from friend and local cake maker Bird Bakes from Ulverston. I made the wooden dolly peg cake topper people myself and my 4-year-old niece painted some pegs as ‘the congregation’ that we stuck into the large timber homemade cake stand.
Our catering was by local company Premier Outside Catering of Baycliff, they served champagne and canapés (the canapés were made by Neil’s brother-in-law who is a chef) to family after the ceremony. We then had and afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and cakes. Later in the evening we had pie and peas.
We didn’t have a bar and asked people to bring their own drinks for the day/evening whilst we provided Pimms on arrival then wine and Prosecco for the afternoon tea and speeches.
To provide entertainment, put together playlists for the ceremony and afternoon tea and hired a speaker/PA system from local company SAP Pro Audio in Kendal. It was so much fun putting together songs we both liked in the months leading up to the wedding and we still listen to the playlists now.
It was really important for us to have live music at the evening part of the wedding as we wanted everyone up and dancing – we even provided a hamper full of flip flops so there was no excuse for sore feet! Local band Ulpha590 played into the night as we danced away.
We loved having our wedding at the Coppermines and thankfully the sun shone all day; we felt the whole place reflected us as a couple perfectly. It was great that we had use of the venue all weekend; we had a barbeque on the Sunday and guests had use of the four hot tubs which overlooked the surrounding hillside.
I couldn’t really say I have a favourite part of the day; all of it, including the run up was great fun. I think because we wanted everything to feel relaxed we didn’t feel under pressure at all.
We went to the Isle of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides for our honeymoon. We used my parent’s campervan to tour for two weeks with our dog. We had an amazing time, the weather was kind to us so we got to explore the many beaches that really are incredible, the sand was so white and sea so clear blue plus it was lovely and quiet.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into what you think is expected of you as a bride or groom; it’s your day so do whatever feels right for you. Also take some time, just the two of you, stand back and take in all that’s going on around you as the day will fly by.
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