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 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 themed 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.
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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