February 28th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Could there be anything more special than hosting your wedding reception in a friend’s garden? Today’s couple did exactly that – and we simply adore everything about their laid-back and very personal day.
Hayley and Gary exchanged their vows at the most picture-perfect, quaint church, before heading onto a close friend’s house to celebrate inside a beautiful marquee decorated with paper lanterns.
We think this might just be country chic at its very best.
Images by Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography
hayley says: Gary proposed on 23 November 2014 in Grand Central Station, New York.
Firstly, Gary surprised me with the trip to New York. I knew I was travelling overseas, I just didn’t know where that was until we arrived at the airport. I even carried my engagement ring in my hand luggage without realising!
Little did I know until after the proposal that Gary had been having a nightmare with his three chosen locations for where to propose, due to TV film crews, swarms of seagulls, children throwing food, and busy crowds in unexpected areas. We eventually arrived at Grand Central Station in the afternoon where he made an amazing job of asking me to be his wife!
We got married two years later on Saturday 27 August 2016. We always knew we wanted to have the wedding on a bank holiday. In order to plan and save for the day properly we picked this month. We also hoped for sunshine with it being in the summer!
Although we are both originally from Co Durham in the North East, Gary’s work has taken him to the south. We decided to get married in the small local church in Lindsell, Essex. This is where Gary now works and lives. We then had the wedding reception in Gary’s employer and very close friend’s garden at his home.
Gary is a professional carer for individuals with spinal injuries. He works and lives with the man who he cares for. Martin, or Tiny as everyone knows him, is a very special person to both of us. His extended generosity to hold the wedding at his home is precedent for the loving and caring man he is. He is very much like a father figure to us both; so much so that he provided the Father of the Bride/Groom speech on the day – and did a fantastic job!
The main wish for our day was for everyone to be as relaxed as possible and to have fun. We therefore adopted a theme for our day of an informal garden party. Our chosen style was vintage country.
The main colours for the day were mint green, dusky pink and gold. I always imagined these colours would work well together and we both agreed these complimented the vintage country style.
I wore a bridal gown named Elsa from designer Eliza Jane Howell, purchased from Kathryn S Trueman Bridal and Occasions in Morpeth. I initially did not have a preference for a style or shape of dress. I wanted to find something I could move around and eat in – and something unique!
After trying on lots of dresses, I knew I wanted something with a higher neckline and coverage on my arms. This designer has such a 1920s vintage style and this particular dress was lightweight, with a soft sequin covering, small train, ¾ batwing sleeves and high neckline – perfect! I knew it was the one when my mam cried when she saw me wearing it. I felt like a perfect bride!
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January 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding is a shining example of just how beautiful an outdoor British ceremony can be. Marrying at the height of summer, Emily and Jordan enjoyed an open-air ceremony before partying the night away under the cover of a cool tipi tent.
Highlights for us include Emily’s stunning lace detailed dress, the beautiful ‘meadow’ colour palette and that gorgeous floral archway!
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
emily says: We got engaged in Bali on a very relaxing holiday. Jordan had booked a ‘100 candlelit’ meal at a 5* restaurant. We had our own table by the riverside surrounded by candles and flower petals. We were laughing because they provided us with speakers but the only music they had put on the iPod was Boyzone and Westlife. Very cheesy but great to sing along to! I turned around after a photo to find Jordan on one knee saying “you going to marry me or what then?”
We set the date of the wedding for 30th July 2016, as it was the only date our perfect venue – Sycamore Farm Barns in Matlock – had available. It’s in the middle of the Peak District surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. We love the great outdoors so it was perfect. We had a tipi and we were able to get married outside, which was amazing. We were able to stay at the venue in beautiful cottages from the Thursday to the Monday so we could decorate the tipi, put up an archway and include personal touches. Our friends could also camp in the field.
We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted things relaxed, informal and beautiful.
We had a humanist ceremony led by Janice Castings – it was perfect. Janice was brilliant and it meant the ceremony was personal to us. We married legally on the 24th July with close family present.
I found my dress in The Cheshire Wedding House. The staff were so friendly, they made me feel really comfortable and at ease. They also let my four-year-old niece try on a flower girl dress, which made her day! My dress was made by Romantica of Devon and it was called Yvonne. The skirt was made out of delicate tulle and felt lovely and floaty. The sleeves were lace and it had a heart-shaped cut out back. I loved it!
My wedding makeup was done by Sarah Morten and I loved it! Luckily, she is an amazing makeup artist and one of my best friends so she also doubled up as one of my bridesmaids.
Jordan picked a navy tweed suit with a waistcoat from Jennis & Warmann, which he ordered online. The best man wore the same suit.
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December 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Ladies, picture the nightmare scene – you’ve had your heart set on a particular wedding gown for years only to find that the designer as stopped producing it by the time it comes to planning your big day. Then imagine the delight when the designer offers to have a one-off of the dress especially made for you. Too good to be true, right? That’s what we thought, but for today’s real bride this was the reality when top British bridalwear designer Suzanne Neville had a discontinued design specially made for her.
So let’s get straight into Laura and Jonathon’s big day to see that super-special dress in action…
With images by Toni Darcy Photography.
laura says: We got engaged after ten years of being together in October 2015. Jonathan took me to Paris for a surprise weekend, I didn’t know where I was going until I got to the gate at Manchester Airport! Even after finding out we were going to Paris I had no idea he would propose, we had been together so long and I had always talked about getting engaged that I sort of resigned myself to the fact we might not get married for another ten years! On the second night in Paris after a lovely meal we walked over the bridge of the river Seine, stopped to take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower lit up behind us and there Jonathan got down on one knee! I later found out that he had the ring in his pocket all day whilst we were busy sightseeing, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop the question!
We decided that we weren’t going to wait for years to get married, I had always known what type of wedding I wanted and we both agreed to get it moving for spring 2016. We looked at only one venue, we both wanted a marquee wedding reception and so The Inn at Whitewell, Clitheroe, was just perfect, we didn’t want to look anywhere else. The reason for the date was simply because we wanted to get married in the spring and the only Saturday available was 21st May, so that was booked and was to be the date of our big day!
We have both visited The Inn at Whitewell many times, it has beautiful surroundings and is just a gorgeous setting. We really wanted a marquee reception and to get married in church. The Inn is coupled with St Michaels Church, Whitewell, and just happens to be right next door to the venue. Perfect!
We didn’t have a set colour scheme as such, I had pale pink and soft golds in my invites, cake and decor in the venue, but chose navy blue for the men and girls in the wedding party.
January 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Ladies you’re in for an absolute treat today as this morning’s real wedding is brimming with pretty inspiration to take note of.
After tying the knot during a traditional church ceremony, Emma, Jamie and their wedding guests carried on the celebrations in an elegantly styled marquee, pitched in the bride’s parents’ garden.
We adore the pretty pastel colour scheme and in particular the maids’ muted coloured dresses and the a-maz-ing flowers created by Emma’s talented mum.
Top of our swoon-list though has to be the bride’s stunning bespoke gown, made by British designer Emma Hunt.
With images by Nicola Denby Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in February 2014 in Dubai. Jamie had planned a surprise holiday during half term and I didn’t know where we were going until the day we were leaving, which also happened to be my birthday! On our first night in Dubai we went out for dinner at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Dubai Fountain. When we got back to the hotel room, Jamie got down on one knee and presented me with a gorgeous vintage style diamond ring and asked me to marry him. I said yes then burst into tears before calling our families to tell them the exciting news! Weeks before our engagement, I’d pointed out the style of ring I liked and Jamie had remembered and had a similar ring made especially for me!
We got married on 11th July 2015. As a teacher, I knew I wanted the wedding to be in the summer holidays so I could have some time before the wedding to do any last minute preparations and so we would have time to go off on our honeymoon afterwards. It worked perfectly and we were really lucky with the British weather!
We got married at All Saints’ Church, Ripley in North Yorkshire. Jamie is from Winchester and I grew up near Harrogate and for the last 15 years my parents have lived in their beautiful home near Ripley. It’s a lovely village and the church is stunning. We knew straight away that it would be where we would hold our wedding.
We held the reception at my parents’ home which, as it turns out, lends itself perfectly as a wedding venue! It has super views over Harrogate with plenty of space for a marquee, drinks reception and even a bar in the stable! I had dreamt of having my wedding at home and it was just what we both wanted.
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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.
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