November 24th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
There are those people that think they know how to throw a party and then there are those people that know how to absolutely nail a party. Today’s real wedding couple falls into the latter, no questions asked.
Self confessed laid-back couple Tom and Chloe wanted a chilled-out celebration but one that would be incredibly good fun – and that’s exactly what they delivered.
Musician Tom and his talented mates kept the marquee rocking late into the night with incredible live music. One performer in particular may well look familiar as a certain Arctic Monkey attended the do.
Ready, set, rock!
With images by PH Weddings.
chloe says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic but because we’ve been going out for 12 years now, we just both knew what we wanted. It was April 2013 when it happened. We were out down Kelham Island in Sheffield having a few drinks and we just decided there and then to get engaged. We are a very laid back couple and were both not into the whole attention knee thing, so it was perfect for us both, just between us two.
We set the date for September 20th 2014.
We got married at my local church, Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough. I was christened and baptised there and I used to be an altar girl there when I was little, plus I went to school next door, so me and Tom agreed that would be the best place for us to get married. We had the reception at Foxholes Farm, Bradfield. We chose that venue because we love the area it’s in and we wanted a marquee in a field – it was the perfect location for it.
As a very laid back and relaxed couple don’t particularly like the traditional wedding side of things, we wanted a party for everyone to enjoy and celebrate with us – and that’s exactly what it was!
We both like the colour navy so we both decided that would be a good start and would work well with the time of year.
My dress was from Lulu Mae in Oughtibridge, Sheffield. I knew I wanted straps and my back showing and this dress offered both and had a romantic vintage look to it, I love it!
Tom and his best man both wore navy suits from Reiss, they both looked very dapper. The bridesmaids wore a navy one-strap dress from Debenhams, they both looked gorgeous. I had my niece as my flower girl and she wore a dress from Accessorize in a dusky pink, as she loves anything pink and I had my two nephews as pageboys and they both wore navy trousers with a white granddad shirt with piano printed braces, they looked very grownup and handsome.
PH Weddings were our photographers. The people behind the business are Helen and her husband Paul, they were fantastic, exactly what we wanted and I would definitely recommend them. They just did exactly what we asked and the photos look great and in a good way we hardly knew they were there because that’s what kind of photos we wanted – a more natural, unposed look and they captured the day perfectly, everyone just looks so happy!
I travelled with my bridesmaids and my dad in a VW camper van, which was lent to us by some friends, and my dad drove us to the church, which was funny. The rest of the party went in an old fashioned double-decker bus, which we hired from the Sheffield Transport Museum.
When it came to flowers I didn’t have a clue. I left it to my friend Catherine, who owns a florist called Petalis, to choose the flowers. I trusted her and she did exactly that and more – the flowers were amazing, they looked beautiful and perfect. She did all the flowers for the venue, including a display outside which looked perfect in the surroundings. The tables looked beautiful also; they had a main centre piece of flowers and then lots of little vases dotted around the tables and on the head table, Catherine had just left a vase for me to put my bouquet in, so that I could enjoy looking at it for the whole day.
I had some wooden confetti hearts made with our name and wedding date on, and some music paper shaped hearts confetti scattered around the tables which matched perfectly with the flowers. My niece and nephews made the table names and table plan, because I thought it was nice for them to get involved with the day and it was a nice homely touch. Our favours were a bag of mixed sweets that I that I had chosen. I think they went down well as most of them were eaten before the meal.
We had PJ Taste do our catering, they were fantastic, and the food was gorgeous. We had nibbles for when we got back from the church, like mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and then pie and mash for our main meal and then a hog roast for later on. Everyone said the food was fantastic and that the pies were the best they had ever had.
My mum made our wedding cake, she is a great baker so there was no doubt that she would make it! It was a two-tier very chocolaty cake, it was immense! She also made a few other cakes, as did my sister, aunty and mother-in-law, there was no shortage of cake that was for sure!
Tom is a musician and most of our friends are so as always when one of us gets married they get together and play. They had chosen what to play, they kept it a secret from me, but they were great. It was so good and such a laugh, they had chosen songs that Tom and I loved and everyone just had a good old dance and sing-along. We also hired a bouncy castle to keep the little ones entertained.
Our favourite part of the day was seeing everyone enjoying it and looking happy, it was exactly what we wanted, just a great party with all our friends and family there.
We’ve not had a honeymoon as yet. We had a mini-moon to Castleton in Derbyshire for a few nights the weekend after because we love it there, but we’re hoping to go to America next year.
Our tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the day and take it all in. Try not to worry about other people enjoying it, you two just enjoy it and relax.
October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I do love autumn. Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.
This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.
If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.
For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.
String out the bunting…
With images by SMH Photography.
Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff. We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.
We set the date for 25 July 2014. We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays. The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.
We were married at Chirk Castle. It is one of our favourite places to visit. We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.
We decided on a pretty eclectic theme. There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour. Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.
I chose a Maggie Sottero gown. It was a long dress in light gold with beading. It had straps and was corseted at the back. I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect. I used Aristocrats Of Chester.
David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit. The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.
We used SMH Photography. They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve. They were very professional and worked really hard all day.
Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley. We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.
The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies. David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe highstreet.com.
We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper. We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit. Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!
Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!
We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.
In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.
We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.
We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.
We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.
I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!
I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!
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September 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Rachel and James’s lovely wedding in the heart of the Northumberland works with the natural landscape around it to create a beautiful day that just fits. A setting that means something, allowed to shine. And a big dash of countryside glam.
It’s a breath of fresh air for a Thursday afternoon.
With images by Jamie Penfold Photography.
Rachel says: James and I met at a mutual friend wedding in Newcastle, but he lived in Bath and I lived in Northumberland. We spent hours on the phone and we quickly arranged a first date weekend in Bath. After collecting me from the early flight down, we went for breakfast at a cafe under Baths beautiful Pultney bridge, and knew at that point that we were both smitten. 8 years later, we both live in Bath and totally unexpectedly, James proposed under this bridge with a surprise audience of friends watching over and with a ring from a jewellers on Pultney bridge! It was an amazing moment.
We got married on June 27th 2014 in my family church in Northumberland, literally just over the hill from my family home. It’s beautiful countryside and a special place for both of us now so there was no question about it. My 94 year old grandfather drove us over the steep hill from church where we stopped for fizz and photos and we had a the reception back in the garden at the farm. It was my dream wedding.
The Northumberland countryside and my family garden already has so much character and natural beauty, I wanted a theme to work with that but I’m artistic at heart, so wanted to do tradition with a rustic/ vintage twist to compliment the old farm and house. The theme just evolved sticking to using props from the farm such as hessian sacks, old doors, an old Singer table, vintage mirrors… I got carried away with rustic vintage but loved the simple and yet effective finish.
The colour scheme was simple muted white and beige of the crisp white cloths and the beige of the hessian, combined with fresh green and white on the groomsmen and flowers. My bridesmaids were dresses in coral and white lace- which worked well with my dress and the soft flowers.
I love my dress! I chose it from Bella B in Berwick where I have shopped for years for other people’s outfits and where they had made bridesmaid dresses to fit me. Their Friday section is fantastic and I chose my dress easily and they made me a bespoke jacket to cover my shoulders and arms. Like a lot of brides, I had a thing about my arms and as a bit of a traditionalist wanted my shoulders covered in church. I had the best of both works to be able to remove the jacket at night. The dress has beautiful lace and diamond detail, a beautiful train and I matched it up with a few sparkles and a veil. The lace trimmed veil was the finishing touch that made me feel fabulously bridal (and hid a few happy tears going into the church!)
Our flowers were done by a friend but professional based in Northumberland, Sandra Dickenson. I wanted simple and light, so I swayed totally to baby’s breath… everything! Except for my bouquet where I included some peonies. Sandra is so talented and went the extra mile to accommodate my weird and wonderful requests.
James wore traditional tails for a traditional wedding. The button holes matched the hessian and baby’s breath of my bouquet and we had the ties made in a green and blue liberty pattern which was a soft but summery finish. He had a massive 10 ushers all dressed the same with a buff waistcoat to work with the hessian. With this amount of ushers it was far cheaper to make ties and to get enough for 10 and in a design to suit. I’d really recommend it.
Our photographer (Jamie Penfold Photography) was fantastic. Before the big day he came down to Bath to shoot us where we got engaged which was a great way to get to know him so that we were relaxed with him and the camera on the day. It also gave him the chance to get to know us as a couple and the type of photography we were hoping for. Not only did we do all this, but we also got some great shots of us in Bath which was an added bonus! We are so pleased with the shots of the big day, he has captured the whole feel of the day perfectly, our emotions, our guests reactions, the scenery and the wedding detail you are proud of. Most of our guests didn’t know we had a photographer- that’s a sign of a good one I think!
Instead of a traditional cake we went for cheese from The Northumberland Cheese Company. They were brilliant to work with: we tasted some amazing cheeses, it was hard to decide what to go for. The cake itself was assembled by the florist and the whole thing was demolished on the night! My theory is that people want savoury more than sweet after a few glasses of fizz and wine… and it appears they certainly did!
In the evening we had a band, Groove All Stars - they were brilliant! Offered a wide range of music playing as a duo for the reception and as a 7 piece in the evening. We pulled together our own dance to Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. The band learned the music especially for the dance and were very happy about me getting behind the mic to start the song (which was planned I might add!)
They were a lovely bunch of people, very willing to bend over backwards to make you happy. That they definitely did – the dance floor was never empty!
I have two favourite moments from the day… walking into our beautiful little church on my proud dad’s arm and seeing James’s face at the end of the aisle – priceless and a lifelong memory of an amazing emotion.
Then, walking into the reception with my nephew leading us into a tunnel crowd of all our guests cheering. It was at that moment that it dawned on us- they are all here for us, all our most treasured friends and family are all around us and we’ve done it, we’re married and it feels amazing.
We set off tomorrow for Crete – I can’t wait. I’ll let you know on our return if we’d recommend it!
September 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This wedding is something else. Not only is the walled summer garden setting super special, it was also hand planted by the bride and groom themselves. And if that’s not a labour of true love, I don’t know what is!
Let the love grow… this one’s bloomin’ beautiful!
Images by Graeme Oxby.
Gemma says: In July 2013 Ady planned a surprise overnight stay to Settle. The Yorkshire Dales is my favourite part of the country. It was a lovely hot sunny day when we set off for a walk in the morning. We stopped for lunch on a hill-side with a beautiful view. Ady produced a rolled up pair of gloves from his backpack, which seemed quite an odd thing to be carrying as it was such a hot day, however he pulled out a ring and proposed, we cut the walk short and went into the town to celebrate.
We said I Do at St Hybalds church, Ashby De La Launde, Lincolnshire. The church was very small making the service more intimate. There are beautiful views from the church over adjacent fields and woodlands.
Our reception was in a marquee inside a Walled Garden, in Ashby De La Launde owned by the father of the groom. Ady grew up at the venue and we both decided a long time ago we would have the reception in the walled garden, and have spent most weekends working on it to get it how we wanted. We reinstated the stone paths, rebuilt the old doors which had collapsed, planted new herbaceous borders and built the pergola in the centre of the garden, as a feature for the guests to gather around.
We wanted to be the first couple to use the garden for a wedding reception but in the future we would love to hire out the walled garden to use as a venue for events and weddings. We loved working together to get the venue right, and would enjoy doing the same for others.
We went for an English country garden style due to the nature of the venue. We mainly used items we found around the garden to decorate the marquee: Victorian terracotta pots, old fruit crates and wooden boxes planted up with plants we had grown from seed.
We felt the garden looked so vibrant and colourful that all other colours should be subtle and soft such as the pale lavender coloured bridesmaid dresses, white table linen and lilac and white flowers in the church and marquee.
I wore a Lusan Mandongus long slim fit, vintage lace ivory gown with cap sleeves and puddle train, from Limelight Occasions in Lepton, Huddersfield. It was so comfortable and lightweight when I first tried it on I thought it would be perfect for a garden reception, also the lace roses and floral motifs on the dress echoed the setting of the English country garden. I wore an Ivory and Co floral head piece with freshwater pearls, antique pieces of jewellery that were family heirlooms and other pieces that I found from antiques centres in Lincoln.
Ady wore a dark grey morning suit, with dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and dark grey cravat from Limelight Occasions.
Our bridesmaids wore pale lavender maxi dresses from Coast.
I chose hand tied country style bouquets made by Flowers by Suzanne based in Lincoln. The bouquets contained: peach David Austin roses, white dahlia, white astilby, scabious seed heads, white veronica, abliflora berries, and lavender.
We hired a 1936 Rover P2. from Ivory Vintage Wedding Car Hire, a family run enterprise based in Lincoln. The owner chauffeured the car personally from the Old Palace Hotel in Lincoln where the bridesmaids, my parents and myself got ready.
We used Graeme Oxby as our photographer. Graeme is a great photographer and would definitely recommend him. He produced amazing shots that made us very happy and emotional when we first saw them.
The flowers for table arrangements and church decorations were home grown in the walled garden. My Mum, Sue, made all the flower arrangements the day before the wedding.
The women each received a small home grown Echeveria, in a little terracotta pot which was painted and decorated by the bride. The men received a bottle of ale which was made by a local brewer (Poachers) and a friend, the couple met at university drew the caricature for the label.
Brosters Farm Shop, in Huddersfield, which is near where we live, made us six different sized tiers of pork pie, all different flavours. We then stacked it up using dowel, and decorated it with ribbon, summer fruits and herbs. We wanted to have a summery harvest festival take on the traditional wedding cake look. Also neither of us like wedding cake! The pie was a huge success and we received so many compliments from guests saying it was so good they went back for seconds and even thirds!
Entertainment wise, it was just the good old DJ, and dance floor. We gave the DJ a long list of songs which meant something to us before he arrived, and he added the rest. It was great to keep hearing songs which brought back memories for us, friends and families. We also had large wooden skittles on the lawn, as an afternoon game which we borrowed from the best man’s father.
For a minimoon we went full circle and went back to the Yorkshire Dales to stay in the same hotel where we got engaged. We went on the same walk and stopped for lunch at the same place as where we got engaged a year back. We are looking forward to our honeymoon in October, we are going to Sorrento in Italy for a week.
The best advice I could give other Brides Up North is share as much of the planning and preparation as possible – it was so much fun and really exciting. You feel extra special as a couple when you can look back on your wedding day and know you did it together.
June 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon’s real bride Nicola is a lady after my own heart. Can you guess what our mutual favourite colour is? Once, in another life when I was a practising lawyer I asked my sister in law the same question and she guessed grey. Honestly! I think I knew right then that I was in the wrong job.
Anyway, my life got a lot more colourful after that (thank god) and things are always, always prettier in pink. Isn’t that right, Nicola?
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
Nicola says: We went to Brighton for a long weekend in July 2012. We were getting ready for a meal out and I had taken time doing my hair and makeup. Just as we were leaving Silas said I didn’t look quite right, there was something missing. I was a little annoyed until he got down on one knee and proposed!
We got married on 3rd May. No specific reason but as it turned out was quite a nervous day for the groom. His beloved Notts Country were in a relegation battle… luckily for me, they survived to fight another season…
We chose the Woodlands Hotel in Leeds, it’s a beautiful venue with a marquee. There are only twenty three rooms which means it felt like we had the whole hotel to ourselves. Lauren the wedding planner at the hotel was fab at suggesting extra things to make the day even more special.
Through the whole planning process, nothing was too much trouble and on the day, they fully kept me informed of everything. The food was amazing, the rooms immaculate and the hotel and grounds itself were better than I had remembered. All this made it a perfect day.
The colour scheme was pink and ivory. I love pink – it’s my favourite colour!
My dress was a strapless gown with satin bust and lace to the floor. I actually bought it from a wedding fair at the NEC. It was too big to start with but then I got pregnant and Evie (our daughter) was only four months old when we got married and the dress didn’t need too much taking in! I tried so many different dresses on – the style I though I would want looks silly on me as I am only 5ft – but fell in love with my dress as soon as I put it on.
The bridesmaids wore floor length chiffon dresses from Ted Baker. They were beautiful. The groomsmen work the same suits as the groom, which was a grey morning suit and an ivory tie from Young’s Formal Hire.
I chose pink peonies for myself and white peonies for the bridesmaids. Sally at Serendipity Flowers did them and they were beautiful.
My work colleague offered to drive us to the wedding as he has a selection of vintage cars! How lucky!
It was a cream Morris Minor Moggy convertible. It had red leather interior and was stunning! The weather was amazing on the day and we travelled from the church to the Woodlands with the roof down. Good job I had plenty of hairspray on.
Hayley Baxter Photography did the photographs. I couldn’t have chosen anyone better to capture our special day. She put us at ease and the pictures are so much better than I could have imagined.
Helen Archer was my make up artist and did an amazing job! I wanted something subtle and feminine… and it lasted all day & night.
I wanted a clean fresh & modern look for the marquee – I chose to make a feature of the gorgeous bouquet’s & peonies by placing them in vases on the top table.
For favours, I chose Yankee Candles in Wedding Day for all the ladies and Silas got betting slips for all the men for football matches on the closing day of the season for the men… I am not aware of any winners!
My chief bridesmaid and best friend Jodie and her family bought us the wedding cake as a gift. Netty’s Cakes made it for us. We chose a three tier cake made of chocolate and plain sponge with a frosting which started off dark and then graduated lighter, all in shades of pink of course. I am not a massive fan of fruit cake and so I went for sponge instead.
We had a band called The Saints and they were great! The dance floor was full and they played some good crowd pleasing songs. Looking back, I am not sure if we asked for Gangnam Style or Cotton Eye Jo but hey, people seemed to enjoy it.
My favourite part of the day was dancing with all my friends. It was quite emotional, it was nearly the end of the night and all the hard work and planning was nearly over. I enjoyed spending that time with the people who had helped me to make the day so great.
For our honeymoon we went to Crete. We took Evie with us so we didn’t want to go too far.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning! I really enjoyed planning of the wedding as much as I enjoyed the day. Its all so special.
Congratulations Nicola & Silas!
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May 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m putting this feature together in my PJs (oh the glamour!) on Sunday night after a great weekend in Cheshire hosting our – absolutely gorgeous – luxury and vintage wedding exhibition for the first time at Hilltop Country House. Rain couldn’t stop play (and I woke rather worryingly to the torrential type on Sunday morning) on what was a properly lovely day of fabulous people, superb talents and beautiful brides in an especially stunning setting. So up my street!
There’s been so many lovely comments on Twitter and Facebook from our visiting brides and exhibitors and it’s lovely to put my feet up and reflect on a job well done. Today, and the whole season so far in fact, has been epic. Thank you all for your kind words and feedback.
I’m feeling a little sad as our spring season is now drawing to a close – to be back with a bang in September! – but we’ll be closing the season in style with not one but two supremely pretty events to finish off with next Sunday 18th May. For the first time ever, we’re splitting the team and doubling up with two amazing bridal exhibitions in one day… I think the phrase Super Sunday might actually have been invented for this… read all about what’s in store for you at The Alnwick Garden here or Middleton Lodge here.
Bring. It. On.
Anyway, I’m here in the office after hours, getting ahead so I can take a day off with my baby girl tomorrow, and recharge for a week of loveliness here online too. Things just keep getting prettier and prettier around these parts, and our brand new look isn’t far off either… #getsetsparkle.
This afternoon though, we’re in the Wirral for the fun and fabulous Real Wedding of Brides Up North reader Rachel and her new husband Alex. This is a day packed with colour, love and laughter. My very favourite type.
With images by Martisan Photography.
Rachel says: We got engaged in the Palais De La Mediterrannee hotel in Nice on May 16th 2012. Alex surprised me for my birthday.
We were married on Friday 16th August 2013 at St Mary’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool and then had the reception in the Lakeside Marquee at Thornton Manor, Wirral. It is a beautiful, private location set on a lake where we knew our guests would be able to relax and just enjoy themselves. We wanted our reception to be in one big open area so that everyone would mingle and have fun together.
Our colour scheme was different shades of pink and orange. It was a real summer wedding.
I had a rose and orchid bouquet. My Nana and Mum’s favourite flower is the orchid and mine is the rose. I wanted my bouquet to have a little of each of the three of us in it.
Our photographer was Martisan Photography and he was fantastic!
We had a swing band called Dominic Halpin and the HoneyB’s. They never fail to get the party started! They are amazing!
Our invitations and table décor were by Hattie Boo Designs which is run by a super talented lady, Emma Bryan.
As a special touch, we had photographs of our four sets of grandparents and both sets of parents on their wedding day to remember their weddings and successful marriages. They have all fulfilled their vows.
We wanted the wedding to mirror us as a couple. It was very romantic and classic. On our first Valentine’s Day Alex bought me a book called ‘Love Monkey’ by Edward Monkton. We named our top table after that, with a quote from the book that represented us. The rest of the tables were named after a famous writer or scholar with a famous quote they had once said about love.
We used Terry Tangs in Liverpool for our wedding cake. It was a four tier cake with a different flavour for each tier.
I loved every second but I think my favourite part of the day has to be our first dance. I wasn’t looking forward to it as I was nervous but it was something I will never forget nor experience again. In our wedding venue the dance floor and ‘party room’ was hidden behind a curtain and so the guests had no idea. When the curtain was raised and we were behind it you could see how surprised and excited everybody was for us.
For our honeymoon we went to Australia for just over three weeks. We started in Melbourne and then went to Sydney. We then drove to Byron Bay and Brisbane and spent the last week on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy it! Enjoy every second from the planning, to the build-up, to the day itself! It is easy to get stressed about trivial things when you are planning a wedding and worrying that something will not go to plan. If you really are marrying the love of your life you will have the best day ever and it will be perfect no matter what.
Congratulations Rachel & Alex!
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January 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s brighten things up around this Tuesday with this colour popping celebration sent to me by real bride Kate and wedding photographer Tori Deslauriers. Kate and Phil opted for a fresh look alongside traditional details, personal touches and lots of bright colour. Today’s Real Wedding is all things bright and beautiful. Enjoy.
Kate says: Phil asked me to marry him on 2nd August 2011. We were in the planning process of building a new house, Phil told me we had an appointment to see the architect so I got the afternoon off work. When he picked me up, he told me we weren’t going to the architect we were going to choose an engagement ring. I was given a ring box with a washer in it! I had always said I’d want to pick my own ring, just to make sure…
We were married on Sat 7th September 2013 (ten and a half years after we got together)! The ceremony was at St Peters Church in Humbleton, East Yorkshire and the reception was in a marquee at the Walled Gardens of Burton Constable Stately Home.
The Church is our local parish church, which is a quaint country church and was only 5 minutes from home, so was an obvious choice.
We knew we both wanted a marquee reception – something we could make our own. We had previously been to a wedding at Burton Constable and commented on how beautiful and private the gardens were, it was only 10 minutes from the church so it was perfect. We didn’t even look at any other venues.
We wanted the wedding day to be modern and stylish, so went for a black and white theme with a hint of colour.
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December 23rd, 2013 | Julia Braime
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.
What better way to kick off the week than with one super stylish and perfectly pretty Real Wedding recap, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Chris Milner Photography and real bride Jessica.
Combining a few of my favourite things – wildflowers, sequins and summertime – this was always going to be a good one!
Jessica says: We got engaged in the summer of 2011 whilst on holiday with friends in Cornwall. After a heavy night in Newquay we spent the next day lazing on the beautiful beach at Polzealth. Chris asked me if I’d like to take a walk up on the cliff tops, and because of the gorgeous sunshine and plentiful tanning opportunities I needed convincing to leave my comfy beach-towelled spot! But we headed up to a lovely grassy area overlooking the ocean and he got down on one knee to my squeals of surprise and delight!
We were married on Saturday 3rd August 2013. The ceremony was at St. Peter’s Church in Anlaby, a stones-throw from my parents home and where I grew up. The reception took place at West Carlton Country Guest House in Aldborough.
I spied our one-of-a-kind venue after trawling the internet for wedding venues in the area. Tim and Caroline who own the house, were so welcoming and just our sort of people right from our first meeting with them at their wedding fair. The beauty of West Carlton is that each wedding is different. It meant we had the freedom to choose our own entertainment, caterers, marquee company, everything. And the rural location meant that no neighbours protested when the partying went on until well past 4am in the morning!
The next main thing was the marquee which proved to be one of the toughest decisions of the whole process! After numerous site visits and exchanges of emails and quotes, something just didn’t feel right about the arrangements until we found Black Cherry Events. Although not local to East Yorkshire, they were excited to provide our marquee and offered excellent service. The little extras they included, such as the lighting options (the twinkle light ceiling really made the marquee amazing as the sun went down!) the choice of flat drapes, and the chill-out furniture, was something that we’d just not been presented with by anyone else – I am thrilled that we found them.
We chose an English Country Garden theme. We wanted a relaxed, outdoorsy wedding that was fresh, informal and free from stuffy etiquette.
My dress was from The White Room in Sheffield. I had lusted after Jenny Packham’s bridal collection from the beginnings of my research. Joy was the last of five beautiful dresses I tried and I knew it was the one. I matched the dress with a Jenny Packham headpiece.
After visiting Harrogate Vintage Wedding Fair I met Julie from From This Day Forward in Bradford. She was showcasing her original dresses in a variety of styles and colours. I wanted a Cath Kidston-like cotton dress that would be girly and summery and fit my bridesmaids perfectly and that’s exactly what I got!
Sarah at the Floral Lounge created an unstructured bouquet featuring mini yellow sunflowers craspedia, bluperum, purple Veronica, lilac, sweetpeas, stox in bright purple colours and September aster flower. The bouquet was bound by extra material from the alterations of my wedding dress, as were the flowers the bridesmaids carried.
For me my favourite part of the day was actually the part I was dreading beforehand! I imagined walking into the church for Chris and everyone to see me for the first time would be really nerve-wracking, but I loved seeing everybody’s smiling faces and enjoyed every moment of the service. A close second place goes to dancing the night away with the band and friends, amazing memories.
My dad has a 1968 MGB Roadster in primrose yellow that I always wanted to be my wedding car. For the short journey from my parents’ house to the church it was just me and him, with the top down (driving very slowly to save my hair!) and then for the thirty minute journey from the church to Aldborough Chris drove us both with our photographer in hot pursuit! This half an hour was one of my favourite parts of the day as it gave us the chance to catch up on the events of the morning (and the night before)!
We wanted a home-made, rustic feel to the marquee and decorations, but unfortunately neither me nor Chris are particularly crafty so it came to my mum to step up! She made ninety-two metres of bunting, raspberry jam favours for the girls and apple chutney favours for the boys! She even googled ‘How to make tissue paper-pom-poms’ and painstakingly folded and cut fifty pom-poms.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, other than fresh, summery, floral shades that would fit in well with the countryside setting. The bunting was a mixture of ditzy florals, polka dots and gingham, whereas the pom-poms were in bright fuchsia pinks, blues and creams.
Not to be left out of the crafting, my dad, a sign-writer by trade, made signs for the campers and a banner for the car. My brother got in on the act too, and spent time researching vintage super-8 cameras to capture some images of the day. A videographer was one supplier too many and the budget just couldn’t stretch, so we began to think about ways of doing it ourselves. He bought me a 1976 Cannon 310 XL super-8 camera and two rolls of film. We had a play around with the camera and made sure it worked beforehand, and then on the day passed it around family and friends to capture moments from the day. Since the wedding we have had the films developed and digitised and I am really happy with the results. The nostalgic flickers of familiar, smiling faces help to remind us of what a perfect day we had. You can see it here.
My mum and her friend went on a baking mission a week before the wedding! Our main cake (which didn’t get eaten…details to follow!) was a rich fruit cake iced with marzipan and royal icing topped with mini bunting. Surrounding that on the cake table we had a smorgasbord of loaf cakes, cupcakes and buns which included lemon drizzle muffins, fruit scones, coffee, blueberry, lemon and chocolate cupcakes and sticky orange marmalade cake. On the day itself, we actually forgot to cut the cake! Then, in the wee small hours when the hard-working bar staff had gone home, our illustrious best man proved that in the contest between wedding cake and forehead, the dense fruit cake was the victor!
We met The Ordinary Men covers band at a wedding fair and they promised us a night to remember and they did not disappoint! They did an acoustic set which included Oasis, Razorlight and Paolo Nuttini before cranking it up for the full set later on. Everybody commented on the band and how the live music made the night extra special
We didn’t book a honeymoon in advance and instead decided to wait to see how we felt after the day. Luckily, thanks to the amazing generosity of our friends and family we were able to book a last minute short stay in Rome. We flew out a few days after the wedding and spent time sightseeing and eating our way around the eternal city.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry about anything and enjoy each part of the day in little sections, that way it doesn’t go too fast!
Congratulations Jessica & Chris!
Chris Milner Photography will be exhibiting at The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition THIS SUNDAY 17th November 2013 at National Railway Museum, York. The event is FREE ENTRY and open from 10:30am till 5pm. Click here for more details and to pre-register as a VIP Bride To Be.
Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier
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November 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime
The people in the above photograph just happen to have been responsible for some of the worst hangovers in my whole life (the last on Friday morning, thanks to a flying visit and some Beaujolais Nouveau). They are my great friends Claire and Ben and I’m thrilled to share their Real Wedding at the beautiful Hilltop Country House – one of our fabulous new wedding exhibition venues for 2014 – on the blog this morning and kick starting the week.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Lee Brown Photography, Ben and Claire’s wedding – at which I was honoured to be a guest – was oh so pretty, personal and lots of fun (from what I can remember of it)! I hope the sun shines on their marriage as it did on their wedding day, bright and beautiful. I know it will.
Claire says: Ben asked me to marry him in November 2011 at the Feversham Arms Spa Hotel in North Yorkshire and we were married on Saturday 8th June 2013 at the beautiful Pott Shrigley Church followed by our reception at Hilltop Country House, Prestbury.
We wanted a summer themed party and Hilltop had fantastic tiered gardens, a great marquee set-up and excellent hosts who we knew would do a really good job for us on the day.
We both (shamelessly) like our holidays and we wanted an almost Caribbean theme, so we organised mojitos and a steel band for the drinks reception. Luckily, the sun was shining all day too! The colour palette was pastels and we had a pale mint green with lace details.
My dress was from La Sposa and Ben wore a morning suit from the vintage collection at Austin Reed. The bridesmaids wore mint lace dresses from Marks and Spencer. The groomsmen wore classic morning suits from Austin Reed vintage with mint ties and a grey waistcoats.
All the flowers were from Zu Zu’s Petals and my bouquet was perfect for the colour theme.
We had two open top Victorian cars. Ben reminds me that I wouldn’t let him have the roof down though so it didn’t spoil my hair!
As well as the steel band during the drinks we had garden games such as croquet, boules and giant Jenga on the lawns.
We had some great quality food at the wedding breakfast and then cheese, crackers, chutney and port later in the evening. Our wines and champagne were from Villa St Simon in Bordeaux.
Our cake was a tiered design from a shop called Choccywoccydodah. One tier was lemon, the next was chocolate, the top was coffee. The outside of the cake was covered in white chocolate icing with mint stripes to match our colour theme.
As a surprise to us, we had a TV screen on loop throughout the day in the marquee playing a montage of shots of both of us as babies and toddlers.
We loved every bit of it but, if we had to choose, my favourite part was the service and Ben’s was either arriving at the venue and seeing how great it looked, or, oddly for him (!) even the first dance.
We had a band called A Few Good Men after dinner and we finished with a DJ. The speeches were also good entertainment too!
For our honeymoon we went to the USA – New York, Las Vegas , San Francisco and then we drove down Route One to LA and San Diego. We were away for just under the weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and get all the last minute “small” details sorted at least a couple of days before the big day – then take some time to relax in those last few days beforehand.
Congratulations Claire & Ben!
Lee Brown Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post
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November 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime
And that’s a wrap!
I’ve just called time on our seventeenth luxury wedding exhibition of the year at the National Railway Museum in York, and our last of the autumn/ winter season 2013. It’s been epic, and I have you lovely lot to thank for that. I have the best readers and wedding industry supporters (but then we always knew that, didn’t we?)!
My legs are killing me and I’m cream crackered, but my head is all of a buzz with big ideas, new plans and daring dreams of how to take this Northern Revolution to the next level in this our 4th year and into 2014. Whilst I have a cheeky lie in (come on, I deserve it!) and attempt to decompress a little – a plan built on hyperactivity is no plan at all after all – I’m leaving you with something pure and pretty to greet you this Monday morning.
After the full on, high octane activity and inspiration of this weekend, blogging Charlotte and Lee’s stunning yet simple Real Wedding was an absolute joy. Their images, by Kirsty Mattsson, capture a calm and sincere celebration, that’s a little different and a lot beautiful. Bliss.
Charlotte says: We got engaged in October 2010 at Oktoberfest in Munich (whilst in a beer hall!) and were married on 7th September 2013 atHensall Church for our ceremony and Womersley Park for our reception.
Hensall is the village where I grew up so the church has a long family history; I was the 4th generation to marry in this church on my mum’s side so it was important that we got married here. Womersley Park is a beautiful venue not far from the church
I chose an ice blue 1950’s vintage dress. It was from a wonderful shop in York called Glory Days Vintage.
My flowers were a mixture of country flowers, with lavender and gypsophila by Lisa’s Flowers in Selby.
The owner of Womersley Park drove us back to the venue in his vintage Bentley convertible.
Our colour scheme was quite mix and match, but with lots of pastels and blue. A lot of things were made by me, my family and friends which gave the day a personal touch. We made the invitations, favours, seating plan (which was a suitcase to show off our honeymoon), macaroons and wishing tree.
Our wedding cake was a vanilla sponge with beautiful cream and blue icing.
In the evening we had a fantastic band called Alex Graham and the Concords who I can’t recommend enough! They got everyone on their feet and really started off the evening with a bang! We also used a great DJ called Craig Halligan who created a great atmosphere and played the songs we wanted, again I would wholly recommend him.
The whole day was amazing. The ceremony was lovely and the band really transformed the day.
For our honeymoon, we have booked a self-drive tour of the American deep south, from Nashville to new Orleans in May 2014. We can’t wait!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to create the day that you want, find suppliers that you trust and add lots of personal touches!
Congratulations Charlotte & Lee!
This is not a sponsored post
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