Brides Up North

let love grow. a boho beach wedding at the alnwick garden – frankie & chris

September 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (24)

The days might officially be getting shorter, but look on the bright side Brides Up North, that just means lots of beautiful summer celebrations to recap on these pretty pages.

This morning we’re starting the week off in beautiful Northumberland, and paying a visit to the Alnwick Treehouse and Alnwick Garden (where Brides Up North is very proud to be hosting our gorgeous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition on Sunday 5th October 2014, are you coming?).

Frankie and Chris’s colourful, natural, boho inspired wedding is bright and beautiful with authentic personal styling.  Let the love grow indeed…

With images by Wildhearts and Wishes Photography, with second shooter Jacqui Grigg.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (1)
a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (19)

Frankie says: We got engaged on 3 February 2013. The short and romantic version is that, one Sunday night, we went for a walk and Chris proposed along the banks of Thames in the old Naval College in Greenwich, underneath a 19th century lamp post. The longer, more accurate and less romantic story is that Chris proposed one Sunday night whilst wearing sweat pants in the house in the middle of an argument… a quick change into some nicer clothes and a short walk to our favourite location and we made it official against a more romantic setting!

We got married on Saturday 21st June 2014 at St Paul’s RC Catholic Church, Alnwick. The drinks reception and wedding breakfast was then in Alnwick Treehouse, before moving across to Alnwick Gardens for the evening do.

In terms of deciding location we knew we wanted somewhere meaningful to us so we started looking in three locations.  1) Greenwich in London where we have been living for 2 ½ years and where we got engaged, 2). Newcastle where we started living together for the first time, 3). Northumberland where we had both grown up and met.

We only looked round a few venues in London to know that something was missing, and that something was the North East.  When we looked round venues in Newcastle and Northumberland we knew straight away that that was where we should say our vows.

Having limited our choices to the North East, we were then still indecisive so greedily ended up choosing three venues instead of one!  Having both been brought up Roman Catholic, we were always going to get married in a RC Church.  We chose St Paul’s not only because of its location and its beautiful atheistic, but because we really gelled with the priest.  He was so supportive and down to earth; he sealed the deal for us!

We specifically chose Alnwick Gardens and Treehouse, as not only were they wonderfully characterful and beautiful venues in their own right, but because they also afforded us with the freedom and scope to reflect some of ourselves in the day.  Additionally, personalities played a part in helping us make our final venue choices, as the venue managers who showed us round both venues Arthur (at the Gardens) and David and Wendy (at the Treehouse) were both so friendly, accommodating and quirky that we knew they would understand the feel we were trying to create for the day.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (11)

We tried to ensure it was a feminist wedding – my Mum and Dad walked me down the aisle, but neither of them ‘gave me away’; my sister did a speech so that it was not an all male line up; and we changed some of the wording in the wedding ceremony to make it more ‘inclusive’.

Our themes/styles were quite broad; we wanted them to reflect our personalities and shared loves. In terms of style, we wanted to create a relaxed, free spirited (hence the no ties!) and environmentally conscious vibe (hence the tree planting, seed packet favour and recycled white-gold wedding ring).

Theme wise, it was primarily (a) music, to reflect our shared love of music; and (b) floral country garden to reflect our love of rural Northumberland and my love of big floral prints.  So as long as it was bright, colourful and fun, it was in!

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (22)

My dress was ‘Harper’ Rue De Seine.  I fell in love with it because it fitted the feel of both venues as well as my personal tastes; it combined both the bohemian, ethereal feel of the Treehouse with its flowing, loose fitting shape, whilst also encompassing the elegance and beauty of the Gardens through the beautifully detailed 1920’s style embellishments on the capped sleeves and midriff.

Both my mum and the lovely ladies in Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon Village must take a lot of credit for helping me choose my dress and I will be forever grateful to them for doing so. My shoes I bought online from Etsy.  They were embellished in an art deco design that matched the style of the dress.

The groom and groomsmen all wore grey, slim fit, limited edition suits from Marks and Spencer with white shirts.  Both Chris and I met whilst working in Marker and Spencer 8 years ago so it seemed fitting that they should be part of day in some way, as without M&S our romance never would have happened!  In keeping with Chris’ laid-back style and personality, the collars were all open necked.

The bridesmaids wore green and blue floral mix and match 1950’s swing style dresses. The dresses were bespoke; designed and made by a local seamstress in my hometown, Morpeth (The Sewing Box).  The material was Liberty of London, Lawn Denise Eva that I found in a fabric shop in London ClothHouse.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (26)

We hired a 28 seater 1940’s gray and white former RAF bus from a local bus enthusiast in Northumberland.   The owner of the bus does not run a business; he just does it for pleasure so we were really lucky to find him.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (31)

Our photographer was Paula Smart from Wildhearts and Wishes Photography.

We would absolutely recommend Paula.  Her photos are beautifully natural, understated and artistic.  We loved her laid-back, genuine style both in her photos and as a personality.  She was so thorough, accommodating and on the day, fitted in entirely with us so that photos were built around the day rather than dictated the day.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (32)

Our florist was Christine from Lavenders Blue in Morpeth.  I have been going to Christine’s shop since I was 3 years old (she even taught my mum floristry) so it was nice to have that personal and local link in the day.

My bouquet was a loose posy of wildflowers, including: blue delphiniums, pink freesia, gypsophlia, blue thistle, pink stock, clematis vine, ivory freesia and green bells, tied with ivory satin ribbon. In my hair I had a garland of flowers made with the vine of green bells with pink stock, pink freesia bud, blue delphinium and gypsophlia.

The bridesmaids had simple bouquets of gysophila to offset the patterns on their dresses.

Christine arranged our flowers for the church and for both venues. In the church we had 2 pedestals containing blue delphinium, hydrangea, lilac stock, green trailing amaranthus, viburnum opulus, thistle and astrantia. On the end of the pews, we had 16 jam jars – which we had hand decorated with craft and manuscript paper and flowers.  These jam jars were then used on the tables at the treehouse.

In the Gardens we used an eclectic selection of containers (vases, tea cups, jugs etc) that belonged to ourselves or members of our families, including family heirlooms such as a jug that was a wedding present to my granny.  These included the same selection of flowers as the jam jars. We also had vintage style buckets and watering cans filled with pink and blue hydrangeas dotted around all the venue which we provided ourselves.

Decorations wise, we had a mix of multicoloured pom poms, floral print lanterns and distressed white wooden lanterns with nightlights.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (34)

In the treehouse, our wedding favours were also our table settings.  We had mini-jam jars filled with raspberry and plum jam that had been made by my Granny.  Each jar had a hand stamped label attached to it with a guests name on one side and ‘Thank you from Frankie and Chris: Spread The Love’ on the other side’.

At the evening do we had seed packets for wedding favours. We planted a tree in the gardens, and had a washing line of string marking out the area, with seed packets on it.  The speed packets were hand stamped with ‘Frankie and Chris: Grow the Love’.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (41)

We chose an ‘All You Need is Love’ Beatles themed cake as part of our music theme, as well as because we loved its vibrant, psychedelic feel.  It was made by A Symphony in Sugar, a fantastic local couple based in Cramlington.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (51)

Chris is a musician so various combinations of his old band and a band that was born out of that provided the music on the day. And of course, Chris was playing too!  The tunes were a combination acoustic soul in the first set and punk rock-fused crowd pleasers in the second set – it went down a treat! Dominic Murphy pulled it all together.  He has fifteen years experience as a musician working all over the North East in original, covers and function bands. It was great to have our friends involved in the day like this – it produced a very personal connection.

The music theme started as early as in the church, so we walked in and out to two of our favourite songs: ‘Sweet Disposition’ by the Temper Trap on the way in and ‘You Make my Dreams Come True’ by Hall & Oats on the way out.  This really made the service come to life and be very personal to us.  Plus it really got the party started early when we walked out to Hall & Oats with the congregation waving wedding wands with bells on!

In the Treehouse, we had a little room called the Roost, which we renamed ‘the sound track to our story.’  In this room we had all the key songs that had formed part of our story growing up and then together as a couple.  As this music was playing there was also a slide show of photos of both of us over the years chronicling our stories to the present day, which my mum had put together.

The handmade seating plan was also part of the music theme, with every table being named after one of out favourite songs.  The table names were displayed on vinyl CDs that were hung from an old 1930’s suitcase that belonged to my Great Grandpa.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (58)

We used etsy quite a bit, particularly for thank you presents for the wedding party and wedding stationary.  If you have an idea, however quirky, etsy will have it.  There are some amazingly individual suppliers.

Wendy from Just Perfect in Cramlington was particularly helpful.  She stocks a range of products from lots of local suppliers as well as hires accessories.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (38)

To tempt people out into the garden to begin with we planted a tree.  As die hard romantics (and a historian) we loved the concept that however fleeting the day was; there would always be a part of our wedding in Alnwick Garden and that future generations of our family can visit our tree long after we are gone.  We also felt that we were so lucky to be celebrating such a wonderful day with our friends and family that by planting a tree we were in some way putting something back into the environment.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (52)

My favourite moment was after the ceremony, Chris and I went to the beach for a few photographs.  The beach was quite secluded and despite being a public place and us being quite conspicuously dressed it felt like it was just the two of us.  It was a lovely personal time, in what was a brilliant but busy day, with a beautiful setting.

Also, I would have to say Chris’s fabulous speech was a highlight.  As was seeing him coming alive by being reunited with his old band mates and seeing how much he enjoyed performing with them and how much people enjoyed his performance.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (53)

For our honeymoon we went to Montenegro.  We wanted something that offered a bit of everything (history, culture, café culture, beaches and outdoor activities) and had been meaning to go Eastern Europe for a while. Montenegro offers so much variety within a fairly small area. Two days in Kotor with its café culture and beautiful, 15th century preserved surroundings, two days in Petrovac on the coast for some beach time and a week in rural and unspoiled Virpazar on an adventure holiday through Undiscovered Montenegro – hiking, kayaking, wine tasting and bike rides.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (42)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t be afraid to deviate from what is considered tradition and the standard wedding format.  Make sure the day reflects you; don’t conform to something that doesn’t mean anything to you on the one day that is solely about you both. You get out what you put in!

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (21)

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you’d be good for me. a vintage travel inspired wedding at the leeds club – jess & sam

September 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (21)

I’m looking forward to joining my friend and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple to host a question and answer session at her Editorial Wedding Workshop this afternoon.

Nerves? Nah, I’m saving those for this.

Whilst I’m off on official duties, I thought I’d leave this especially sweetLeeds based DIY vintage travel themed wedding in my pace for you to enjoy. Jess and Sam styled their big day their way, to beautiful and individual effect. Super cool.

With images by Mark Dolby Photography.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (6)

Jess says: Sam proposed after an amazing evening out in Leeds. The story starts with an unfortunate incident of a pair of my tights getting stuck to chewing gum on a seat in a bar – they compensated us by gifting us a bottle of wine and we decided to make a night of it! We went for a few drinks and then some amazing tapas. When we left the restaurant Sam realised he had left his scarf in one of the earlier bars so on the way back we had to cross the Millennium Bridge in Leeds. He got out some photos of us at various places we’d been to since we got together and some pegs out of his pocket and suggested we count the bars on the bridge and peg photos to them. Once we ran out of photos we hit a bar with a padlock on it. The padlock had our initials on it and the lyrics from a Weezer song – “I think I’d be good for you, and you’d be good for me” when I turned to look at Sam he was down on one knee with a ring asking if I’d marry him.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (10)

We got married on 16th August 2014 at the iconic Town Hall and had our reception at the beautiful Leeds Club on Albion Place. We chose the Leeds Club because it’s a gorgeous building with amazing features. The Leeds Club also blew us away with their organisational skills. We wanted somewhere with an old soul but could throw a great party and I think we cracked it with the Leeds Club.

Our wedding had a travel theme to it. We chose travel as a theme as it is one of our shared passions in life. In the first 2 months of getting together we flew from Leeds to California to see Weezer play and that set the tone for the rest of our relationship.

All the flowers were made from old maps, this included table flowers, bouquet and buttonholes. The centrepieces were placed on squares made of material with maps on them. All the tables were named after cities we had visited and our table plan was on a map. Our invitations and programmes were designed like airline paper.

We didn’t have a particular colour scheme but because of our travel theme, the maps and the blue and red airline paper did play a part in dictating colours. I decided to use maps for the flowers because they would add pattern and colour to the bloom without being uniform or too prescribed.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (20)

My wedding dress was Sia by Coast. I tried on probably around 50 dresses and couldn’t find one that had the right balance of being bridal but practical. Then I found Coast! I was in love with the Sia dress but they didn’t have any more in my size across the country. The personal shopper called every store across England but it wasn’t in stock. But luckily someone was selling one on eBay in my size. With a few alterations to the length, it was perfect!

My shoes were from Irregular Choice. They are my favourite shoe brand and loved seeing them peep out from under my dress as we walked through town!

Sam’s suit was a favourite he has from Marks and Spencer. He bought the matching waistcoat and then chose a snappy shirt from Next. His shirt was a beautiful geometric pattern in red and white with a red tie.  Sam had a tan belt and same colour shoes from Berwick’s.

Sam is really keen on ethical purchasing so he gave a lot of his choices a lot of thought and this included his underwear. In the end Sam chose items from ‘Pants To Poverty’. These became quite a talking point at the reception when I mentioned them in my speech!

As explained, I carried a bouquet that I had made from maps. I got designs from various craft blogs online and over a few nights perfected my flower crafting. My bouquet had about 50 flowers in it made from maps. I bought a shoebox of maps from eBay and used about 90% of the contents. The rest of the maps can be useful for our next adventure!

We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen but I did make buttonholes for all the family so they could have them in their hair (for the ladies) or in their suits (for the gents). Sam’s Dad also chose the same shirt and tie combo as Sam. That was a lovely touch.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (23)

I travelled from our home in Leeds to the Town Hall with my brother, sister and brother’s girlfriend in Mercedes town car that we booked. It was an E Class and very plush. Then between the Town Hall and the Leeds Club we walked between the venues. We had a few girl ushers (or Gushers, as I nicknamed them) to help guide guests as to the venue.

This was a lot of fun because another wedding had booked a Rolls Royce that was sat outside the Town Hall when we left and everyone expected us to get in. As we walked off everyone was very confused! Eventually as people started to cotton on that it wasn’t our car they then convinced us to go back for photos! So to the couple that paid for that car- if you see any photos of us by the side of your Rolls on your wedding day- I am so sorry!

It was great that we did walk though as luckily on that day Fosters were doing a promotion and giving out cans of beer right between our two venues! All our guests got a freebie on the walk between. People kept thanking us for arranging it!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (26)

Our photographer was Mark Dolby and he was incredible. He was so much a part of the day he was like a guest- but he was also doing all the work! He arrived hours before we had booked him so that he could be prepared and stayed much later than we agreed because we over ran! He made us feel so comfortable and happy. He captured loads of amazing natural and reportage style shots, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a few classic group shots but we were sold on his style of ‘in the moment’ photos and they were absolutely amazing. Thank you so much Mark!

He also had around 85 photos ready for us to look through by the meal time so that they could be on a slide show in the bar at the Leeds Club- the guests loved it and kept complementing us on what lovely photos. Plus they felt famous being on the big screen in a gorgeous bar!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (27)

I made a centrepiece for each of the tables, which included a table name on a luggage tag that was displayed in an empty bottle of beer. Sam is a beer connoisseur so he chose each beer bottle carefully! There were a lot of samples for that decoration!

Around each table name there were three bottles with my map flowers placed inside and candles. All of this was also placed on a square of map material. We also had maps cut into hearts sprinkled onto each table as table confetti. Each guest had their place name on a luggage tag that I had sewn with some map material.

For our cards and guest book table there were more flowers made of maps and a suitcase for cards. The suitcase came from my friend’s house when they moved in and must be over 50 years old. I also made the cards bunting sign from old maps.

Sam’s Mum gave me some decorations from his Grandmother’s wedding in 1947. They also were used in Sam’s parent’s wedding so I framed them so that they could have a special place in our wedding.

I made most the decorations myself but the Leeds Club put all of them out. They were so helpful! We delivered all the bits on Friday morning with set up instructions and they put them out perfectly!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (33)

We are in love with this bakery called That Old Chestnut in Leeds. It is a vegan bakery and they basically work in cake magic. The first time we tried their cake at a fair in Leeds we knew we would have them! The question was what flavour cake! In the end we couldn’t decide so we had 6!

Triple Chocolate, Stem Ginger, Lemon Drizzle, Carrot, Coffee and Walnut and Chocolate Torte.

We were a bit nervous we had gone overboard on the cake so we provided cake-away boxes in case anyone wanted to take some home and by the end of the night there was nothing but some crumbs (which I ate while we were saying “bye” to our last guests!).

We didn’t do favours but we did have a lot of cake and let people take any of the table flowers home with them. There wasn’t any table flowers by the end of the party and lots of guests had worked them into their hair. It was fantastic! That was exactly what we hoped!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (32)

We chose a hot fork buffet by the Leeds Club because we like the informal style of choosing from a buffet on the day but knew that a hot meal would be needed! The food was delicious; when we came for a menu tasting we were so excited!! We provided wines through Sam’s Mum and Dad. They introduced us to this brilliant Pinot Noir from Aldi and a Spanish White wine that Sam’s mum loves.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (34)

Our DJs were incredible. I know them from my work and they really did us a massive favour by DJing. The speeches over ran so they couldn’t get into the room to set up the equipment until an hour late, but they still started the party on time.

I first met one of the DJs when I hired him for a job in the bar I worked in when he was 18 and a few months old- he is now working on his PhD in Southampton and came back to Leeds just to DJ for us!

Sam and I went out for some last minute portraits before our first dance and when we came back the dance floor was packed- we had to clear a space for the first which was Diana Ross’ “Upside Down”.

After our first dance everyone was back on the floor and didn’t stop until the end. Even then there were chants for “one more tune!” A big thanks to Aarran Shaw and Sam Ryder for accommodating us!

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (35)

We added lots of special touches to our day, but two stand out in particular.

I did a speech at our wedding. I think it is becoming more common for Bride’s to speak at their wedding and I can see why. It is so great to add your different perspective on the day and what you had thought in the run up. It was also great because I could mention some of the important people who couldn’t be there for various reasons – like our Grandmothers who I know would have loved to see the day.

We chose two readings at the Town Hall, which really helped personalise the ceremony. Our friends Lauren and Susy read an extract from Dr Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and our friend Dave did an acoustic cover of the Magnetic Fields “The Book of Love” – he put lots of energy in to the final chorus and took it up an octave. The crowd went wild!

The people at the Town Hall were absolutely incredible. The lady who prepared and signed the register with us – Nancy, was retiring after our wedding and it felt so special to be her last couple. As she explained the register to us as we signed our names she had a lump in her throat saying the words. It was an incredible moment.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (40)

We would strongly recommend the Leeds Club. It is a beautiful, historic location but also incredibly well placed. Very easy for guests to find but also easy for them to find their hotels! The team at the Leeds Club will also bend over backwards for you. They did so much to help us prepare for our big day- a big thank you especially to Karen Hiscoe, Ellie and Laura.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (51)

My favourite part of the day was when Sam and I met before we went to the Town Hall in the Leeds Central Library. It was a bit of a risk as they had previously told us we’d need permission for photos there. I was starting to get nervous when I arrived at the Library and fell up the stairs as I walked in (much hilarity ensued for my siblings!). But when Sam and I saw each other, all the nerves disappeared and we were just so happy.

We took some photos and walked across to the Town Hall. It felt so calm and natural to walk in together with all our friends and family there. The emotions came back as we walked down the aisle though. Truly amazing.

a vintage travel wedding at Leeds Club (c) Mark Dolby Photography (59)

For our honeymoon, we went to one of our most favourite places in the world- Barcelona. Viva Espana! We hired a flat in Barceloneta with a view of the sea and spent the week drinking cava, relaxing on the beach and seeing art! Perfecto! Randomly two of our close friends were also in Barcelona at the time so we had them over for dinner at the flat one night and it was great to get their view on the wedding! Our photographer- Mark, had also been to Barcelona the week before so he gave us some great tips on some art to see.

We loved our wedding so much and had an absolute ball! I have probably a hundred top tips for other Brides Up North. Seeing your partner before you walk down the aisle is so special. Just go with the flow on the day. When we planned the day I was nervous about fitting all the bits in- they didn’t fit in, and it didn’t matter! We were late but that was ok!

Make sure you get plenty of water – it’s amazing how dehydrated you can feel from the nerves.

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Fly The Flag! A Vintage Gown For A Real Wedding In Chester – Carrie & Paul

June 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Anderson Jones Photography

This afternoon we’re invited for a summer high tea with Brides Up North reader Carrie and her husband Paul, as we celebrate their Real Wedding in Chester.  Carrie combined authentic vintage pieces with delicate decorative touches to create a pretty and personal celebration.

With images by Anderson Jones Photography and film by Eight Wood Studios.

 

Anderson Jones Photography

Carrie says:  We had a long engagement – we got engaged four years prior to the wedding – and were married on 4th August 2013 at The Doubletree Hilton in Chester.

Anderson Jones Photography

We opted for a vintage theme with lots of greys, creams and pinks, and used the venue’s beautiful brick barn which suited our styling perfectly.

Anderson Jones Photography

Anderson Jones Photography

Anderson Jones Photography

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I chose a column lace dress with a fishtail.  It was an authentic vintage dress altered dramatically at Melanie James Bridal in Chorlton.

I carried a bouquet of hydrangeas by Acacia of Chester.

Anderson Jones Photography

My bridesmaids wore cream vintage style dresses from Coast and the guys wore suits, shirts and shoes were Next and ties from M&S.  

Anderson Jones Photography

My makeup artist was Laura Wisinger, with hair by Rebecca Rigby. 

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Anderson Jones Photography

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Bookworms. Maggie Sottero For A Real Wedding At Harewood House – Kate & George

February 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon we’re in Yorkshire at one of my very favourite spots, the gorgeous Harewood House, as we join Kate and George for their simple and stylish Real Wedding celebration.

Whilst the wind rattles the windowpanes, sit back, enjoy, and remember a time when it was possible to go outside in Yorkshire without being blown away…

With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Jane at JB Creatives

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Kate says:  George asked me to marry him in Roundhay Park, 23rd May 2012, and we were married on 5th October 2013 at The Courtyard at Harewood House. 

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Harewood House has beautiful grounds and scenery and we were pleasantly surprised with the price, especially because they were really flexible with meal and drink options. And they have PENGUINS!

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My dress was by Maggie Sottero and I got it from Angel Brides in Horsforth. It was quite romantic with lace and tulle over the top.  I bought the bridesmaid dresses from Oasis, they were dark purple with a full floaty skirt. The ushers, best man and dads all wore their own suits with a dark purple tie that we bought for them.

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George and I had decided to save money on the transport so I thought I was just going in a taxi with my dad. On the day when someone said the taxi had arrived, I came outside and was totally flummoxed when I saw a huge white Rolls Royce (it was called a ‘Silver Shadow’). It was amazing! My parents had organised it as a surprise with George’s help. My sister came with us in the car because she was so excited about it!

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I carried a colourful mixture of freesias, gerberas, roses and veronica. It was hot pink, purples and white. The bouquet had a ‘hand picked’ feel according to  our florist!

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Low Key Lovely. Pronovias For A Real Wedding In Manchester –Nichola & Neil

December 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

 

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

 

 Adam Riley Photography

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What Nichola and Neil’s Real Wedding lacks in fiddly detail, it makes up for class.  I love their low key yet expertly styled celebration in the North’s capital of cool.  This is how it’s done, people.

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With images by Adam Riley Photography and video by Unforgettable Memories.

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Nichola says:  We got engaged in August 2010 in Sicily. We had taken a trip to Mount Etna to watch the sunset. We watched the sunset together and then Neil asked me to marry him producing the most gorgeous pearl and diamond ring

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We had a Catholic ceremony at St.Mary’s Church, Levensulme (our local church) followed by a reception at the Radisson Edwardian in Manchester City Centre on 6th April 2013.

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Having both grown up in Manchester we wanted a wedding that really reflected our love of the city. Neil is an architect so the venue was really important to us. We had quite a large wedding as we are both from big Irish families and have big groups of friends we have grown up with so finding a venue we loved that was big enough was a struggle.

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When we walked into the Radisson at a wedding fair we knew it was perfect. It was the right size and it had character to it that other venues just didn’t have.  I work in customer service and being a 5 star hotel knew that we would get first class service which was the top of my priority list.

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We had two key themes for the day, pearls and lace from a decoration point of view but also Manchester and Music.

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The Radisson was once a music venue (The Lesser Free Trade Hall) and Neil loves music so we created invitations that looked like gig tickets, our table gift was a CD of music from artists that had played at the Free Trade Hall and the table names were all artist that had played at the venue.

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I wanted to keep the decorations as low key as possible as I really wanted to do these myself. I collected glass jars for months with the help of family and friends and we filled them with pearls and candles and covered them in lace. I bought hessian to make runners for the table and for around some of the jars too. We really wanted everything to feel personal and ‘us’ so the invites, table plans, place names and order of service were all designed and created by us.

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We kept everything quite neutral. My dress was ivory and the bridesmaids’ dresses matched too. The stationary was all created using brown card to match the hemp.

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I choose a Pronovias dress from the Bridal Path in Althrincham. I must have gone to nearly 10 shops and always fell in love with a dress in each one but never committed to buying them.

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When I tried this dress on I knew it was the one, the lace was amazing and I really wanted lace in the dress. I loved the detail on the straps and waistline and adored the way the skirt fell.

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The bridesmaids wore gorgeous lace dresses in the same colour as mine so they were very classic and they looked amazing next to my dress. I bought the dresses from Marks and Spencer as we didn’t want to spend huge amounts of money on ‘typical’ bridesmaids dresses that had no character.

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The men’s suits were from Groom in Wilmslow. We didn’t want a traditional tails/morning suit as when we looked at these the fabric was stiff and stuffy. We had wanted Navy all along as Neil has a lovely navy suit at home and the colour looks great on him. We had been to a lot of places looking at suits but the minute we walked in groom we saw the perfect suit. The material was lovely, clearly great quality, and the accessories were perfect for the colour scheme.

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We used Knutsford Bloom for the flowers. I wanted to bring in some spring colours in the flowers as everything else was so neutral and Bridget was brilliant helping us pick and the flowers were amazing on the day.

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I carried a medium hand tied bouquet with gorgeous yellows, pinks and blue to bring some colour to the day and tie in the suits.  The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet.

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The special touches for us were the personal side of things, making all the stationery and decorations. Picking all the church readings, prayers and hymns ourselves meant we picked things that really meant something to us as a couple and not just standard wedding words

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My favourite part of the day was getting to say I do and finally marry Neil (after nearly 10 years together) with all our friends and family there to watch.

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We didn’t want to spend too much money on transport for ourselves on the day so we only booked one vintage cream car that could take the wedding party ahead of my Dad and Me. Then after the ceremony Neil and I took the car while the guests travelled in two vintage double decker buses to the hotel. Our photographer jumped on the buses to take some pictures of all the guests and really captured the atmosphere of the day.

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Our photographer was Adam Riley a reportage style photographer. We both agreed we didn’t want anything too posed on the day (apart from the family shots for the mums!) and photography was really important to us. Adam was an amazing choice and we were so happy with what he created for us. He captured the day in a way we could not have imagined and everyone has said how unique and fantastic the pictures are. The hard part now comes in picking which ones to put in the album!

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We wanted some time for just me and Neil to walk around some of the important places in Manchester that held a place in our hearts to have some pictures captured, Adam was so on board with this idea and had met Neil in the week before the wedding to walk around to the different spots and work out a plan for the day.

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We had decided not to have a video on the day due to budget but Neil’s mum planned a surprise for us and got the details of a videographer, Craig at Unforgettable Memories Films. She told Neil about the surprise and he met with Craig ahead of the wedding to talk everything through. When Craig turned up at the house the morning of the wedding it was such a shock and I couldn’t have been happier.

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For the cake we used Richard’s Cakes. My father, sister and myself all have a gluten free diet so we needed someone who could cater to this. We had decided to have individual cakes as dessert also so wanted something that looked like a dessert. The cakes were beautiful and so tasty.

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Having a big Irish crowd and also lots of friends who love to party at the wedding meant that the entertainment was really important to us. We choose a local DJ, Andy Murphy, and a local Irish band, The Last Drop.

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We know Andy well and he was fantastic, he came round to the house in the run up to the wedding to talk through how things would run on the night. Andy really knows how to pick songs to keep the crowd happy. We were struggling with a first dance choice as Neil is so into his music but not big on dancing! We settled on The Stone Roses – This Is The One. It went down a storm.

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The band were great and worked brilliantly with Andy to make sure everything ran smoothly and the dance floor was always busy.

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We went to America for three weeks on our honeymoon. We really wanted the trip of a lifetime. We started in Vegas and travelled to the west coast from Yosemite down to San Diego stopping at lots of places on the way.  It was the most amazing three weeks we could have had.

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My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to make the day personal to you. It will help you have the day you want and its great when everyone you love has a good time because of what you plan.

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Make sure you take some time for the two of you, its hard but you will love having sometime taking it all in. We had that when we went of for pictures and I am so glad we did as the day flew by so quick.

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Congratulations Nichola & Neil!

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Want to see your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Adam Riley Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: The Farmer Wants A Wife! A Real Wedding In Cumbria – Lisa & Gavin

December 27th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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This afternoon, I bring you the beautiful Real Wedding of Brides Up North reader Lisa and her new husband Gavin.  Lisa and Gavin’s Cumbrian countryside celebration was full of all my favourite things – cool cars, beautiful blooms, individuality, steak pies (served at the table), paper pom poms, pink roses, huge smiles and buckets of confetti.  Just one thing was missing – my invitation!

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Enjoy!  With images by Joe Mather.

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Lisa says:  We got engaged on the last night of our holiday in Cyprus last October, it was typical laid back Gavin style, we were just chilling in our hotel room, I thought he was joking! We celebrated with a glass of shandy… all we had in the room was a can of lager and some lemonade!

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We were married on Saturday 25th August 2012 at St Johns Church, Levens, near Kendal, Cumbria, with reception a mile up the road at Heaves Farm, Levens – my parent’s farm where I grew up.

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Since I was little me and my Dad joked about having my wedding reception in the big stone barn at the top of the farmyard, so when we got engaged it was the obvious choice, we wanted something different, unique and personal for our wedding, and the barn was all those things. It was a lot of work but it looked magical and everyone absolutely loved it. Unfortunately it did have baby calves in it until three weeks before the day which was a bit of a worry…

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We stuck to a vintage rose, village fete type theme, with old fashioned cut glass cake stands filled with flowers for the centre pieces, lots of bunting and vintage inspired stationary designed by my brother with a dusky pink and pale green colour scheme. 

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I wore a Lou Lou Bridal tea length dress from Kokoa Bride in Penrith. I’d always wanted a short wedding dress and it made perfect sense with our wedding being on a farm, no worries about my dress getting dirty! It was so easy and fun to wear, I absolutely loved wearing it and loved that it was so unusual. I wanted to totally surprise people.

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My hair was by Shelley Knowles and make up by Beauty Simply

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My three adult bridesmaids wore dusky pink tea length dresses from Very.com and the two little flower girls wore beautifully embroidered ivory dresses from M&S and flower garlands, they chose the dresses themselves because they were the most twirly! The boys all wore grey suits, silver polka dotted waistcoats and green ties/cravats from Marrime in Kendal.

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Gavin’s sister Joanne and his Mum’s friend Sue took charge of the flowers, the main flowers were vintage looking roses and the rest I left up to them, they were beautiful. Each bouquet was tied with a piece of lace from my Nan’s wedding dress.

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Gavin is the most laid back last minute person ever, so to get him involved we agreed he’d be in charge of sorting the transport… I was honestly expecting a tractor and trailer when a beautiful vintage VW camper arrived for the bridesmaids and a VW white soft top beetle for me and my Dad. I was over the moon and they were perfect, the boy did good.

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Gavin’s sister and brother in law have a shop in Kendal called Armstrong Ward Lifestore, its beautiful so we asked them to help with decorations, they came up with the giant pink and green tissue paper pom poms we suspended with fishing wire from the ceiling, all 120 of them!

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We used local caterer Liz Clarke for the food, when discussing potential mains we both immediately suggested Liz’s famous auction mart steak pie, it is a massive hit in the auction! It went down a storm and just suited our day perfectly. We also served rose veal burgers from our farm (Heaves Farm Veal) for the evening meal which were delicious.

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Our photographer, Joe Mather was a friend of mine from school, it was nice to have him there taking pictures instead of a complete stranger and we are absolutely delighted with our photos, he captured the feeling of our wedding day perfectly.

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We surprised one person on each table with a parcel, the tag said ‘here’s a little gift for you, please DO NOT OPEN until we ask you to’. After the starters were cleared we asked those people to stand and open it, each parcel had an individual novelty apron in especially chosen for them, and asked them to serve the steak pie we’d chosen for lunch! It was very funny seeing people’s reactions, the whole room just erupted in laughter, it really set the atmosphere for the rest of the day.

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We had both a DJ and a live band, 24-7 who had been recommended to us by a friend, we loved them, they were perfect for our relaxed, party atmosphere, the dance floor was full all night.

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For evening dessert we surprised everyone by arranging a local ice cream van to arrive with its music blaring, my Dad told the story in his speech of how when I was a little girl I always heard the ice cream van go passed down to the village and it never stopped for us up at the farm, my Dad always promised one day he’d get it to come… it was brilliant, and such a great, no fuss novelty dessert.

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I had a few favourite bits! loved walking in to the church, kissing my new husband, walking out of the church as man and wife, seeing everyone open their aprons at dinner, the speeches, dancing all night and the ice cream van!

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I also loved the run up to the day, the barn was a hive of activity for about three weeks before the wedding, it was so much fun and so many people were involved; from ironing the borrowed bunting to fluffing or tying up pom poms, putting up the tent, painting signs and even the aunties and grandmas helping with the constant supply of tea and cake!

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After the wedding we travelled around New Zealand for three weeks in a camper van, it was amazing! We swam with dolphins, climbed a glacier, went white water rafting and even milked some cows (Gavin’s a farmer…!)

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to be as organised as you possibly can well before the day, use your family and friends wherever possible  -they really do want to be involved, and finally accept that something will go wrong…it’s how you deal with it that matters! Enjoy every second of it and relax!

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HEARTCongratulations Lisa & Gavin! HEART

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding featured on these pages?  I’d love to hear from you – get in touch!

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  – Images © 2012 Joe Mather

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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