March 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
The unpredictable British weather is a concern for many wedding couples in the run up to their big day, particularly for those saying their ‘I dos’ outdoors.
Thankfully luck was on the side of today’s real wedding couple Elizabeth and Stuart when they tied the knot during a gorgeous wedding in the grounds of Middleton Lodge. I love the bright, breezy and relaxed vibes that come from this wedding and I’m sure you’ll agree Elizabeth looks stunning in her lace Enzoani gown.
Girl done good!
p.s. You can join Brides Up North for our Luxury Wedding Exhibition at this oh-so-beautiful wedding venue on Sunday 12th April 2015, 1pm till 4pm. Click here to pre-register.
With images by Stan Seaton Photography.
elizabeth says: We got engaged in Bali in June 2013 on the beach whilst having a romantic candlelit dinner on our last night of our holiday. Stuart got down on one knee and gave me a pretend ring!
When we returned we set the date for Thursday 24th July 2014. We always wanted a summer wedding and in particular to have the service outdoors.
Our venue was Middleton Lodge, Richmond. We chose it simply because we both instantly fell in love with the lodge and its surroundings – the gardens are so beautiful!
We didn’t have a theme as such but used a colour scheme of champagne and natural shades to style the wedding.
My dress was a lace fitted Enzoani design with scallop finish from Poppy Bridal. I chose it because I love lace and found the perfect dress for my maid of honour which complemented it and was also from Poppy’s. I wore Jimmy Choo Evelyn shoes and a diamond and pearl hair comb. I kept my jewellery simple with diamond drop earrings that matched my engagement ring and a diamond bracelet.
Myself, mum, sister and godmother stayed at The Coach House at Middleton Lodge the night before the wedding, which was a lovely start the celebrations. We walked over to Middleton Lodge in the morning for breakfast and pampering! Selena from Cocoon did my make-up as well as my mum’s and sister’s and Dianne Minnes did our hair.
Jane and Stan from Stan Seaton Photography were our photographers which was a special wedding present from my godmother Lesley. They gave us many laughs and made us feel very comfortable but are extremely professional and we would recommend them to anyone – they are simply the best!
Both my sister and I had a cream roses in our bouquets and Isla had a flower wand. On the tables we had pink hydrangeas and cream roses on mirrored plates and crystals. Beth from Eliza Blooms provided all the flowers and they were exactly how we imagined them.
For favours we gave each of our guests a slate heart with their name chalked on the front and the date of our wedding date on the back. We got then from Dotty’s Place in Richmond.
Our cake was a cream rose chocolate three-tier cake from Marks & Spencer.
For the entertainment we had John McGeough playing chilled out sax whilst we had our drinks reception and The Imposters were our band for the night.
The whole day was absolutely perfect. My best friend Rochelle did a beautiful reading at our wedding service that stands out as a special part of the day. I walked down the aisle to Stevie Wonder, My Cherie Amour, and our first dance was to John Legend, PDA.
We would definitely recommend Middleton Lodge everyone as it’s so friendly and the team there work to such a high standard. It’s a special place that you can go back to visit after the wedding and recall such happy memories.
We went to Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles for our honeymoon straight after the wedding which was very romantic! However, after being ill for three months after the wedding we decided we needed a second honeymoon after all the worry and celebrated again by going to LA and New Zealand in January.
Our tip for other Brides Up North would be just to enjoy every stage. All the planning can be quite stressful but is also so much fun and you actually miss it afterwards so just enjoy every minute!
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January 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple wanted an informal big day with lots of pretty vintage touches and their fabulous wedding photos are proof they more than achieved it.
After a quaint church ceremony, Hollie and Matt, along with their guests, headed down to the farm for a good old knees-up, complete with village fete inspired games, afternoon tea, musical entertainment and an entire evening of dancing.
So grab a hay bale and take a pew as we relive their incredible Derbyshire wedding day.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
hollie says: We got engaged in July 2012, the day before the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Matt took me for a meal at my favourite restaurant as I was going to Cape Town with work the following evening. He asked me to marry him looking out over the beautiful view. Of course I said yes!
We set the date for Saturday 9th August 2014. We are both teachers so the summer holidays were an obvious time, and as we wanted a marquee this is supposedly when we are guaranteed the most sunshine!
We got married in a small church in the tiny village of Scarcliffe in Derbyshire where I grew up. My parents and grandparents also got married at this church.
We wanted a day that was really relaxed and informal. We love all things quirky and vintage, so a marquee on my Aunt and Uncle’s farm seemed like the perfect opportunity to style it exactly how we liked. The marquee was decorated with lots of furniture and objects from our home! It was important to us to involve as many of our friends and family as possible in our wedding day. It was a small but really personal do.
Our colour scheme just emerged naturally. A lot of the china we already had, and flowers we liked were creams and soft pinks. Unfortunately, the soft pink didn’t suit the skin tone of any of my bridesmaids so we went with a contrasting colour of blue/green.
I found my dress on the first day of looking! I had previously seen it on a website and couldn’t wait to try it on. It was very delicate Sincerity dress with lots of lace. I knew straight away that it was, as they say, ‘the one’. It was from The Bridal Boutique in West Bridgford, Nottingham. My shoes were Rachel Simpson, my earrings were handmade by a friend and I had my gran’s engagement ring tried on my bouquet with ribbon. I wore flowers in my hair so didn’t have any other accessories.
Matt wore a grey checked suit from Slater Brothers and the groomsmen all wore their own suits. The bridesmaid dresses meanwhile came from a small local shop called All Things Bride and Beautiful.
Mine, my mum’s and all the bridesmaids’ hair and make-up was done by my brother’s partner and her company Mirror Mirror. Everyone looked truly stunning.
I travelled to the church in my step brother’s, cream, MK2 Jaguar and Matt arrived at the church in his brother’s VW campervan.
Simon and Jo at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers. They were completely amazing! They made us feel at ease and were a massive hit amongst our guests. We have some fantastic pictures that we can treasure. We would most certainly recommend them!
All of our wedding stationery came from the super talented Sarah Wants. Her stationary is quirky and rustic, which fit in with our theme perfectly.
Our flowers came from Black Eyed Susan in Chesterfield. They were really great and knew exactly the look we were going for. The flowers looked stunning, we were really happy with the beautiful tomes they had chosen. They even ventured out in the monsoon weather to help us decorate the marquee!
Matt and I both have a very sweet tooth so we loved the idea of having a sweet table. So instead of favours we gave our guests small sweet jars that they could fill until their hearts’ content at the sweet table.
Our cake was made by my dad’s extremely talented partner – she did a fantastic job! It was a four-tiered ‘naked’ cake, decorated with summer fruits.
We wanted a relaxed and informal day, so we choose to have afternoon tea rather than a meal. The sandwiches came from M&S catering. All the hundreds of cakes and deserts were made by our fab friends and family! It really made the day feel personal. In the evening we had a hog roast from a family friend, Barlow’s Butchers.
To entertain guests during the day we had an acoustic guitarist called Phil Ashmore. He played during the ceremony then again during the drinks reception. This was really lovely as we could choose some of our favourite songs. We also had lots of games outside to keep the children (and adults) entertained. At night we had a band – The Smooth Criminals, followed by a DJ. They got everyone up and dancing on their feet even though it was cold and pouring with rain outside!
We were both really nervous about the service but surprisingly this turned out to be our favourite part of the day. It was beautiful. Surrounded by our closest friends and family, saying our vows was really special. An acoustic guitarist just added to the atmosphere. The evening was fantastic, dancing the night away to a great band with all our friends – we never sat down!
For our honeymoon we went to the beautiful city of Florence, in Italy. We hired a car and drove around the stunning Tuscan countryside. We then spent our final few days sightseeing in Rome.
Our top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t feel as though you have to follow tradition. It is your day, so do what makes you both happy. We spent hours looking at ideas deciding what we liked and what we didn’t. In the end our day felt very personal to us.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s been a real treat to drop in an extra little feature every day at noon this week as we celebrate our readers’ real life love stories, courtesy of Brides Up North Sponsor, Silver Sixpence Films.
Popcorn at the ready, let’s hear from Gemma and Niall.
gemma says: Niall proposed in our living room between visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas and heading to Niall’s mum and dads for Christmas day. It was lovely that it was just the two of us at home.
I wore a Lusan Mandongus gown from Teokath Wimbledon: all the dresses I tried on were beautiful so it was a tough decision! In the end I went with a designer I felt fitted my body shape the best and the dress that I felt was the most flattering. I absolutely love, love, love my wedding dress and feel much more emotionally attached to it than I ever imagined I would.
With a marquee in Niall’s mums and dad’s garden we had a blank canvas. We were quite relaxed about style and theme (just going with stuff we liked) but ‘classic fresh marquee wedding’ probably sums it up quite well.
We both really enjoyed the ceremony and have memories of smiling and laughing a lot. It’s the first time we both saw each other on the day and so was amazing. It is quite a surreal experience and over very quickly, you forget there are 100 people there watching you. My cousin commented after the event that the ceremony was the most fun one he had ever been to!
Featured images are video stills.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Hannah and Arul for a wedding celebration that was a true celebration of their different cultures. This couple mixed morris dancers and high tea alongside goat curries and Indian dress, without batting an eyelid. And you know what?
It just fits.
The result? A fresh and fabulous day, with meaningful touches, an heirloom wedding dress and a whole lot of love.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.
hannah says: We got engaged on my birthday (28th February 2013). We were on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors and we went to The Lion Inn pub in the middle of nowhere (my granddad’s ashes are spread there) it’s a pub loved by all the family and we went every Christmas.
We went on a walk along the moors and we walked for miles (turned out Arul was looking for the perfect spot where all the classical elements: earth, wind, water and fire were present).
We sat down for a tea break Arul said he had another present for me. Out came the ring! It was perfect: we were alone with beautiful views and it was the best walk back to the pub where we had lunch by the roaring fire next to the piano.
We were married on 26th August 2014 at Bilton Church. We chose this as at midnight it would have been my Granddad’s birthday (27th August). Therefore he would still be part of the day. The wedding was in the village where I grew up and the church that my grandparents were married at, and the reception was at The Haven Arms, Hedon.
Our wedding saw the joining of two different cultures – English and Srilankan. The wedding was celebrated in both cultures over Day and Night. We did vintage high tea for the day celebration. I chose to wear my grandma’s dress and we collected tea cups, side plates and tea pots all year, the venue provided the bunting and Morris Dancers entertained the guests.
The night theme was Indian with lots of coloured lighting, Indian food, Indian music and the guest in Indian clothes (sarees for women and kurta’s for men). This reflected Arul’s country of birth Sri Lanka with his mum and brother travelling from Sri Lanka for the wedding.
I wore my grandma’s wedding dress. She offered to buy my wedding dress and I asked to look at hers.It was important to me to make my grandma a big part of the wedding as she has been a huge part of my life.
I got my two adult bridesmaids sage green dresses from House of Fraser and my flower girl’s dress was made especially for her.
Arul wore dark grey tails with a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids.
I carried sweet peas which all the family grew, these where the flowers my granddad grew on his allotment so it was important to include them. I also had roses (Aruls mum’s favourite) and peonies. The flowers and arrangements were by Evergreen Garden Centre in Bilton.
My friend Francesca picked Arul up in her Audi and I had a vintage car by Alternative Wedding Cars.
We had the flowers clustered on the pew ends and wrapped in lace to match my dress and had love heart shaped bird cages hanging outside the church.
The Haven Arms were so accommodating. We went to two tasting sessions and the chef sourced special ingredients for the evening curries based on Arul’s feedback. They also sourced all the bunting, chair covers, lighting and led lighting to match our theme. The owners even dresses up in Indian clothes on the night!
This place is brilliant for people wanting a themed wedding as they are so adaptive.
My auntie Di made our fruit cake. She makes all our family cakes and gave us this as our wedding gift. My bridesmaid Sarah made all the cupcakes and we bought a cake stand from Ebay to display them both.
During the day we were entertained by the Makara Morris Dancers. They were fantastic and invited us to practice with them prior to the wedding and let us choose all their dances on the day. They kept the guests busy while we were having pictures and filled a gap between food and speeches (getting everyone to join in) which everyone said was brilliant.
As a special touch for later in the evening, my friends and I spent a year learning an Indian dance in order to surprise Arul and the guests.
We went on a Log House Holidays honeymoon in the Cotswolds. We were in a log cabin on a lake with our own hot tub and rowing boat!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding a reflection of who you are, it’s a lot of hard work but totally worth it.
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December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Alex & Nick’s glam & gorgeous country garden wedding has it all – beautiful blooms, a fab frock and plenty of fudge!
Groom Nick also knows what side his bread’s buttered on, sending his best man bearing a pair of Jimmy Choo skyscrapers to his bride to be on the morning of the wedding. Alex, you’ve trained him well.
With images by Niki Mills Photography.
Alex says:We got engaged at home on our five year anniversary and were married on 19th September 2014. We chose the date due to it being seven years to the day we met. Were not the romantic type so this made our day extra special.
We got married at St Peters Church in Darwen because it is where I was christened and due to it having links with St Pauls, where Nicks Grandparents, Aunty and Parents were married.
We chose The Inn at Whitewell as our reception venue as I remember going to a wedding when I was younger and thinking to myself ‘If I ever get married I want it to be here!’. Nick also loved the character of the place and we agreed it was ‘us’.
I picked a ‘Garden’ theme as my wedding dress had the most intricate floral lace and embellishment on it and I wanted everything to relate to the dress on the day. My husband calls me a magpie as I love anything sparkly so the day needed to be glam too.
The colour scheme chose me. I love the vintage feel with golds, blush, nudes, creams, greys and pinks and made sure they all had a part to play somewhere. I also added a little fresh green to break it up and give the theme a little dimension! Everything that featured in the day was there because I liked it not because it matched.
All wedding dresses are beautiful and its hard finding ‘the one’. After searching when we first got engaged I found a beautiful Blue by Enzoani dress in Lulu Browns (Whalley) that was fresh and young with one shoulder. It was so completely different to what I thought it would want but so beautiful too. We didn’t start planning properly until December 2013, and when I went to look for dresses again I walked in Bellisima (Holcombe Brook, Bury) and there it was there waiting for me.
Joanne Tudda MUA did my make up on the day, she is recently qualified and was valuable to the ladies of the wedding party on the morning of the wedding.
Nick very clothes conscious and wanted a mod suit and to arrive on a Vespa, but after a discussion on how our Dads would look in this type of suit and a successful fitting at Amelia’s Bridal (Clitheroe) he decided on light grey tails, skinny trousers, a floral tie and brown brogues – and looked ever so classic and handsome.
Bridesmaids dresses are lovely but I didn’t want them to look the same as everyone else, I chose metallic evening gowns from Phase Eight and had them custom fit for every girl.
The flower girl dresses were chosen by Nick by accident in Monsoon, the vintage frocks had the exact same colour sash as the bridesmaids and floral lace. They were perfect for my girls who were 8, 4 and 3.
I arrived in a classic black Mercedes, I love the vintage cars but as the venue is 40 minutes away we decided to spend the majority of the transport budget on a double decker bus for the night guests. Apparently it was quite a ride on the county roads home!
Our photographer was Niki Mills from Niki Mills Photography. After watching her DVD and crying at how beautifully she had captured other couples special days I booked her. From that moment on she went above and beyond, from a really fun engagement shoot (which really helped our confidence under the lense) to rounding everyone up on the day to ensure she got all the shots we wanted. When starting the wedding planning process my dad said to me ‘Make sure you spend good money on the photographer, you’ll never get that day back’. And he was right, Niki captured our day in a way that really tells our story, in exactly the relaxed fun style we wanted. I am so glad I didn’t have a videographer as Nikki achieved what they would have done with just her talent.
I remember seeing a Naked Cake for the first time and thinking ‘Wow, I wonder who can make me one of those?’. I enlisted the help of my godmothers daughter Victoria who does cake baking as a hobby but who is extremely good. She goes by the name of ‘Victoria Sponge’. She took the task on board and did not disappoint with the cake being a huge hit!
I envisioned the flowers to be as though they had been collected from a country garden with a vintage rose as the centrepiece. Sue’s Bluebells worked extremely hard at ensuring this vision was perfect over many cups of tea.
My bouquet was made by a good friend Danielle who made her own brooch bouquet a few years ago. I collected all the individual brooches and pieces of jewellery and she magically put it all together with added extras – such as my grandma & granddad being with me all day in a locket.
The decorations were all finds by my mum and me from Home Sense, The Range, charity shops, car boot sales, the wine loving next door neighbours and by painstakingly soaking jars in the washing up bowl to the annoyance of Nick. He would come home and say ‘Why are there so many watering cans in this house?!’ or ‘Surely you have enough jars now?!’.
Sue’s Bluebells put together all the centrepieces and Nicola at Bride’s Little Helper set up the marquee and created my unique crate and gold frame table plan.
I also envisioned a very romantic feel as it went dark in the marquee so with the help of Nicola put candles in everything. It really made a spectacle as the day room was so fresh and at night it changed into candlelight. I asked for the braziers to be lit outside and some guests sat outside with drinks round the fires.
Bride’s Little Helper is a wonderful little business, Nicola and Mark did so much for me in the run up to the wedding, from the beautiful stationary, the room, the transport and emotional support battling out ideas.
Nick and I are foodies and we love fudge. I ordered in a huge amount of the stuff from a gorgeous shop in the Peak District (where we go camping) and gave out Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate fudge to the delight of the guests. They were then given in little plant pots to go with the theme.
For the day guests we had a vintage ice cream trike, provided by Laura at Love My Trike which went down a treat with the guests, but for the evening entertainment we simply had a DJ. Nick has a brother and together they are all the entertainment any wedding needs. Nick being a huge lover of music (he went to Ibiza for his Stag weekend) talked me into the idea of an ‘Ibiza Hour’ which I ok’d as he hadn’t asked for much. It was all the entertainment we needed and had the guests up dancing all night long.
We added lots of special touches to the day, Nick and I no longer have any grandparents and we wanted them to be a part of our day, my dad and I spent an afternoon shabbing up an old pair of ladders and Nicola at brides little helper made the most gorgeous remembrance jars with their names in, which lit up at night.
We also love to go camping so every table was named under a place that we have visited in our tent, this went down a treat with our guests as many of them have been on these trips with us!
I really hate the pain of high heels so I painted an old magazine rack silver and made sure the girl guests had flip flops so there was no excuse not to dance!
I have many favourite moments, but sitting at the top table with my new husband surrounded by our closest friends and family who were there for us that day meant so much.
We honeymooned in Sri Lanka for a week and then onto the Maldives for ten nights. Nick is an action lover so in Sri Lanka we went white water rafting and on safari and snorkelled and scuba dived in the Maldives, together with a lot of sunbathing! A special surprise was the honeymoon being a gift to us from my mum and dad – we found out at the top table!
People say the best advice is to take a step back and take it all in. However, I would say to other Brides Up North– ground yourself in the morning, tell yourself that this is really happening and try to get into the moment. You spend months and months planning the most perfect day and on the day feel as though you are watching through a dream.
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