February 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
“Pick a seat, not a side; we’re all family when the knot is tied,” declared a sign at the marriage ceremony of today’s real wedding couple, Kathryn and Michael. It’s perhaps all the more poignant given the couple hail from opposite sides of the pond, with Michael coming from New York.
As a nod to their different heritages, the couple incorporated some special touches into their day, such as a sweetie table laden with British and American sweets for the guests, and traditional British lawn games set up outside, along with beer pong and corn hole. Not to mention the odd socks worn by the groom and groomsmen – one sporting a Union Jack and the other an American flag, of course!
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
kathryn says: We got engaged in October 2015. Michael is American and was living in New York at the time and I was over visiting on holiday. One evening after we had finished eating, Michael told me he had to show me something before we got back on the subway home. We then started walking up Fifth Avenue and Michael kept refusing to tell me what it was, even though I kept pestering him as I was tired and wanted to go home! We eventually got to Central Park, where Michael took me to the side of the lake with the New York skyline in the background and got down on one knee and popped the question! There was just the two of us in a serene Central Park and it was perfect.
We got married on 3rd September 2016. We wanted to get married fairly quickly so Michael could move to the UK, as we had been living apart in separate countries for so long. Michael’s sister and cousins were also getting married over the summer, so we wanted to space the weddings out so everyone had their moment to shine.
We had our ceremony at St John’s Methodist Church in Whitley Bay. This was my family and childhood church and also where my parents got married. We are good friends with Carla, the minister at the church, so it felt really special to be married by someone so close to our family.
We had our reception at Healey Barn – it’s such a beautiful and relaxed place. There’s nothing not to love! We would definitely recommend the venue – everything about the day was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and that was down to the slick operation that they run at Healey Barn. The barn is beautiful, the countryside surrounding the barn is breath-taking, and our guests couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the food was!
The theme for the wedding was rustic. The barn itself was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of decorations, so I wanted everything to be homemade and to complement the rustic barn setting.
Our colour scheme was sage green and dusky pink. I always wanted quite a soft, romantic colour palette that complemented the natural colours of the countryside. We also used a lot of burlap and lace to complement the rustic barn theme.
December 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Today’s real wedding is nothing short of stunning and we’re struggling to peel ourselves away from it – be warned, you too may face the same problem.
In a wedding that celebrates both love and the city of Manchester, we are bowled over by all elements: from the natural blooms and cute honeybee touches to the stunning attire and décor. Oh, and that cake – seriously, that cake #toobeautiful
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
chorcha says: We got engaged while celebrating my birthday with friends at an urban picnic in Downtown Dubai. Quite a few of those who were there were in on it – so we have some wonderful video footage of the moment. Our engagement was typically us – in front of our dearest friends (who have become like family as we are ex-pats) and loud!
Our wedding took place on 3rd April. Spring and Easter time in England is typically bright and crisp. We figured if we picked a date around this time we would be safe from the grey Manchester skies – and boy, were we lucky!
Manchester Town Hall was our chosen ceremony venue. Glen and I met in Manchester 12 years ago, and then met again in Dubai three years ago. We are both originally from Manchester and both moved to Dubai for work (not at the same time). Living away from such a great city really does strengthen your appreciation and love for the place. Whenever we get time for a holiday, all we want to do is go back home to Manchester! Don’t get me wrong, Dubai is great – but it doesn’t beat cobbles, rain, gravy with your chippy and that wonderful Manc spirit!
The city’s town hall is such a beautiful building – a real icon of Manchester. It was a simple decision for us, why pay a fortune for a country manor when this gorgeous piece of the city’s heritage is everything you need and more!
Our reception was held at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden at The Midland Hotel. The restaurant is by Michelin star chef, Simon Rogan, therefore the food was absolutely outstanding! The venue itself being in Manchester’s oldest hotel is steeped in heritage with gorgeous original features and that typical Manchester quirkiness. Both venues are only a one-minute walk from each other, which meant our guests could walk between the two!
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December 7th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’ve got your heart set on a photographer that can capture incredibly beautiful and natural images of your big day, then you’ll want to pay full attention to this morning’s post. For we’re introducing our new Sponsor Melissa Beattie Photography, to the blog.
Providing a mixture of fine art and documentary photography, North-East-based Melissa blends in seamlessly to the wedding proceedings, creating timeless images that tell the story of the day in an unobtrusive and professional manner.
Available for both UK and destination weddings, there are no boundaries for this talented lady! So, let’s hand over the blog to Melissa to tell us more about her photography passion whilst showcasing some of her dreamy images.
Tell us a little about your background and how long you have been photographing weddings for?
melissa says: Whilst I have had a love of photography for as long as I can remember, I have only been doing it professionally for around four years, and photographing weddings for three of those. I started my professional career whilst living in Dubai, which was brilliant but a totally different kettle of fish to the UK. We moved back to the UK early last year and it has been the most amazing experience so far. I love that every wedding I have had has been different and exciting in some way and I have been given the opportunity to work at some dream venues already.
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
This might sound a bit cliché, but I love everything about weddings and photography is my passion; I couldn’t think of a more perfect job for me.
And what is it about your job that you love?
I love that I get to witness and share in one of people’s happiest moments. Everyone is happy at a wedding and it is always a very uplifting place to be.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
My style of photography is a mixture of fine art and documentary. It has often been described as natural, honest, romantic and timeless. I love making real connections with my couples and bringing out their personalities in my portraits. I create images that tell the story of your day in the most relaxed, honest and unobtrusive way.
What is the feedback like from your clients?
Here are just a few of the lovely testimonials that I have received from my couples:
“I knew from the outset that I just had to have Melissa as my photographer. Melissa was just a dream to work with. She was friendly relaxed and helped us to stay calm and relaxed. Most of the time we didn’t even realise she was snapping away capturing all the previous moments. My final images blew me away! The edit of the photos capture all the love and laughter that was shared with us and every image is visually stunning – I felt like the images belonged in the pages of a bridal magazine” – Kathryn
“Melissa was the best photographer we could have hoped for. She is not only professional and incredibly talented, but she is also a wonderful person who was so friendly and personable from the word go. She really took the time to get to know us as a couple and what we were hoping for from her work. Not only did she take some incredibly beautiful shots, but she also captured so many little moments with family and friends. Her work tells a story and we’ll treasure our wedding album forever” – Clara
“Melissa has a talent that is hard to describe I’m not sure how she captured the moments so well, of course I’m extremely happy that she did. Our photographs are just amazing! When we look at them we feel very emotional. Sometimes after a photo shoot you might have one or two favourites, but we just wanted to frame all of them. Melissa is such a lovely person and someone who you would gladly share your special day with. The presentation box with all of the photos on a memory stick was beautiful” – Anna
What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?
Around 90% of couples I meet say they are camera shy or not photogenic – if you are one of these couples then I can’t highlight how important it is that you connect with your photographer on more than a photographic level. You want to find someone who understands you and makes you feel relaxed and beautiful. It might also be worth considering a pre-wedding shoot. A pre-wedding shoot can be a great way to ease any nerves you have about being in front of the camera before your big day. It will also give you the opportunity to get to know your photographer better and understand how they shoot.
July 13th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Brides Up North, you are in store for a very pretty treat this afternoon as we share this stunning styled shoot led by Big Chief Tipis and featuring some of Manchester’s finest wedding suppliers.
Based in Manchester, big chief tipis was launched in 2015 by Hayley Harthern, alongside her father and brother. Even though the company is less than a year old, Big Chief Tipis has 40 weddings booked for its first year and Hayley recently supplied Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright with tipis for their wedding at Hengrave Hall! Impressive, huh?
As Hayley has worked within the events industry for more than a decade she’s built a great network of fantastic suppliers and saw this photoshoot as an ideal opportunity to bring together a handful of such companies to create some incredibly beautiful imagery – and boy have they done good!
Showing how a blank canvas can be transformed into a fabulous setting for a wedding, this shoot features gorgeous blooms, twinkling fairy lights, amazingly styled brides, oh and a large feathered headdress (that will be the Big Chief reference we imagine). We’ll let Hayley explain the rest…
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
hayley says: When we were pulling together ideas for the photoshoot, it was really important for us to use local Manchester-based suppliers who delivered a five-star service or product. We really wanted to shout out loud how fantastic the region’s suppliers can be and work with the crème-de-la-crème to create a beautiful whimsical photoshoot within the surroundings of Big Chief Tipis.
The shoot took place at Delamere Manor. Based in the heart of Cheshire, the manor (which is Gary Barlow’s previous residence) offers 100 acres of rolling gardens complete with its own six acre lake, luxurious ensuite bedrooms and private nightclub, making it the perfect setting for both weddings and events. The stunning grounds were ideal for our Big Chief Tipis to be erected and were a sensational backdrop for the photoshoot.
Working together as a team, we took inspiration from both the awe-inspiring giant tipis and the beautiful grounds of Delamere Manor, to create a free-spirited, bohemian theme, to celebrate the beauty and creativity of the North West. The décor inside the tipis was also themed accordingly to give the main tipi a really bohemian, rustic feel, with the baby tipi providing a different look and feel with its Moroccan hues and furnishings – the perfect place to sit back and relax with your guests.
The beautiful images were captured by Melissa Beattie Photography. Melissa focuses on fine art weddings and lifestyle photography – capturing natural interaction, expression and moments of happiness. Her style was exactly the look we wanted for the photoshoot and complemented the style of the tipis, dresses and theme perfectly.
Our models from Boss Model Management were styled by the fabulous Maxine Smith on makeup and Vicky Millington on hair. With over twenty years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, Maxine has made a real name for herself, from high end clients to editorial work with the likes of Grazia and Vogue. Vicky is a professional freelance hair stylist specializing in bridal hair styling, styling shoots and events, making her a perfect choice for the shoot. The hair and makeup was styled to represent a natural and relaxed-looking bride, channelling a boho-chic vibe.
The gorgeous dresses were supplied by Jean Jackson Couture, a family run business providing Manchester with the most exclusive bridal experience from their boutiques in both Urmston and the trendy Northern Quarter. They offer bespoke services to design and make bridal dress from scratch, but they also stock a range of beautiful designer dresses and are the only UK stockists of Anna Campbell. Jean Jackson Couture brought with them a selection of vintage inspired gowns and accessories to adorn the models.
Springbank Flowers provided the stunning florals. I have worked with Springbank for many years and I’m always blown away by their creative flair and attention to detail. Their expert floristry combined with their imagination takes them to a new level. A selection of wild flower bouquets and table centres were provided – the mixture of multi-coloured jars and flowers flown over from Holland were simply stunning and worked beautifully in the woodland setting amongst the trees, the lake and tipis. The bouquets and floral head pieces they created complemented the style of the shoot perfectly.
Finally the fab light up letters were supplied by The Word Is Love. They provided the ‘DANCE’ letters for the shoot but offer the full alphabet to spell any configuration you like.
The shoot went really well on the day – everything came together beautifully and we were so pleased with the overall results. The one thing we couldn’t control was the weather and unfortunately the sun didn’t come out but it didn’t rain, so we were still able to get all our outdoor shots with a lovely ‘moody’ style!
This was our first photoshoot for Big Chief Tipis and we were really keen to work with suppliers in the North West – there is so much talent up here and it was great to see everyone come together and produce such beautiful images.
Though in our first year it’s very exciting times for Big Chief Tipis – we’ve just provided the tipis for Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright’s wedding in Suffolk and as a result, have been featured in Hello magazine’s coverage of the wedding which we are really pleased with! We are also providing tipis for a range of festivals this year including Glastonbury, Festival No.6, Love Supreme and We Are FSTVL.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
What I love most about my job as editor of these pretty pages is the variety of stunning and special celebrations that I get to witness, albeit through a set of wonderfully curated images or a snappy wedding film. I’ll be honest: sometimes I cry (in a good way).
One such submission that really touched me was the beautiful wedding blessing of ex-pats Heather and Mike, who returned to the UK following their Dubai wedding to celebrate with those they’d left back on English soil. Their [pared down ‘second’ wedding day is stripped back to all that really matters on a wedding day – two people in love, their nearest and dearest (plus a killer gown, some great heels and a stunning backdrop always help).
I think it’s utterly beautiful.
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
heather says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Dubai where we live. I’d gone back to the UK to visit family and Mike used his time to go ring shopping. Mike proposed to me with a cup of tea (and a stunning ring) as I woke up the morning after a late arrival back into Dubai.
We actually got married on 6 April 2014 in Dubai but we wanted to have a Wedding Blessing and a celebration with our friends and family in the UK who could not make it. The blessing took place on 12 July 2014. As we are both teachers the dates for both events were rather un-romantically dictated by term time (and the hope of decent weather).
The Blessing service took place at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, near Penrith. We chose this venue as it is a short walk from the family home where I grew up and where my family still live. It was a ultimately an easy decision as it is a beautiful church, in a beautiful setting next to the Eden River and with a stunning view of the Pennines.
After organising one wedding in Dubai, we were very lucky for our family to take charge of events in the UK. An evening party was held after the service on the ‘Raven’ Steamer on Ullswater Lake which was the brainchild of my Godmother Paula. Along with the jazz band that played throughout the evening.
We wanted the celebration to be laid back and relaxed. The overall aim was for us all to have a good time and catch up.
I wore the same dress as I did for the wedding in Dubai much to the envy of many friends as I had the opportunity to wear it for a second time. The dress was handmade and embroidered by Lily Duds Tailoring, Dubai. The beauty of having the dress handmade was that I was able to get the dress just as I wanted and combine a variety of different designs I liked.
My Jimmy Choo heels brought an extra sparkle to my outfit and were even comfy enough to wear for the walk to and from the church.
I carried three hand tied peonies. Aunty Gillian and family friend, Yvonne Marples, arranged the flowers on the day. They wonderfully captured our relaxed theme through the flowers by creating a wild, country garden feel.
Melissa Beattie was the photographer. She was also the photographer for our wedding in Dubai. We loved her photographs from this so much that we bullied her into taking the shots for the Wedding Blessing.
Her work is intimate, natural and she has a wonderful ability to make us look fabulous! We ultimately considered her one of our guests due to her warm and friendly manner.
She took a great deal of time and effort to ensure we got exactly what we wanted and edited and designed our wedding album beautifully
Hair and make-up was by Bridget Foster, Carlisle. Bridget is an excellent make up artist, who has a subtle touch and eye for detail, as well as having a wonderful personality.
We actually only just made it to our own Wedding Blessing! Our passports were caught up in the fiasco with the UK Passport agency and were with the passport agency for 10 weeks and only arrived in Dubai 5 days before we were due to fly. A thank you to Rory Stewart, MP, and his office for all their help in chasing this matter!
A 1969 Red Double Decker Bus was hired from Stagecoach to take the guests and us to and from Glenridding Pier, to board the steamer.
Our favourite part of the day was simply being with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in many years.
The steamer on the lake is a beautiful experience and loved by all of our guests. The scenery makes for a simply stunning backdrop – especially for us who spend most of our time looking at sand!
Due to the limitations for catering on the steamer itself, we went for canapés and mini meals from Bakerwood Marquees and Events who far exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, delicious, plentiful and was provided to our guest by a very attentive team of waiters.
We created personalised brown Mr and Mrs sweetie bags, which contained personalised rock and Love Hearts sweets.
The Dixie Kings Jazz Band was chosen for the evening to suit setting of cruising down Ullswater lake. They provided fabulous entertainment, loved by the old and the young, and we all danced the night away.
We honeymooned in Zanzibar, which provided an ideal balance between relaxation and adventure.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the day! It is about you both not everybody else.
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