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 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.
December 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Last month our lovely Sponsor One Fine Day Bridal, celebrated its first birthday with a special relaunch event inviting brides-to-be to view gorgeous new collections to the boutique whilst raising a glass of fizz (sounds like our kind of event!)
Better still, owner Lindsey Johnson, called upon some of the North West’s top wedding suppliers to help advise and inspire brides-to-be on everything from their hair and makeup to lingerie and accessories, making it both an entertaining and informative evening.
So for those of us that couldn’t make the glittering event, this afternoon we’re catching up with Lindsey to find out how it all went, what brides-to-be can expect from the boutique’s new collections and how they go about making an appointment to view the gorgeous gowns for themselves. Take it away Lindsey…
With images by Melissa Beattie.
After months of planning, how did your relaunch event go?
lindsey says: The event was a fabulous celebration our first birthday here at One Fine Day Bridal and provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the new designer bridal collections we are introducing for 2016. It was also a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with choice local wedding experts as I really enjoy getting creative.
The event was really successful, we kept the numbers intimate as I wanted to offer our brides a personal and relaxed evening, all guests arrived on time (some surprisingly early) and our first gown orders have been successfully placed.
What did the event involve?
We opened the evening with a glass of prosecco and nibbles while guests and their families were introduced to their table. Daniella Gallagher entertained us with her beautiful vintage jazz voice while we prepared the catwalk, which weaved between the tables so guests were able to see the beautiful dress details close up. Following the catwalk show, I took the opportunity to join each bride at her table and chat about plans while Dani continued to sing for us into the late evening.
May 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s oh so smooth American groom Christopher pulled an absolute blinder when he organised a surprise proposal in the bride’s hometown surrounded by those dearest to her. Smoother still, Christopher agreed for the wedding to take place in the UK so his wife-to-be Amy could wed at her dream venue, Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield. Nice work Christopher, we like your style.
To complete her perfect day Amy added pretty touches in pale pink and ivory and then left the grand venue to do the rest of the talking for itself.
After their UK celebrations the couple later flew back over the pond to enjoy a New Year’s Eve reception in Chicago with Christopher’s family, giving them two bites at the wedding cherry!
With images by Melissa Beattie.
amy says: We currently live in Florida together but while we were visiting England, Christopher managed to pull off the ultimate surprise! He contacted all of my closest family and friends and arranged for everyone to get together for the proposal. My younger cousin owned a little tea shop in the hills of my hometown, Glossop, Derbyshire and so he thought it would be the perfect spot for us. As I walked in I saw my two best friends of 20 years sitting down and I still had no idea what was going on. I turned around to tell Chris what a coincidence it was that they were both there at the same time as us, and when I turned around he was on one knee with all of my family behind him. He made a speech but I couldn’t tell you a word of it today, I was in such shock and excitement. The best part, Christopher knew I had always wanted a photographer around for a proposal and he organized with my best friend, who happens to be a photographer, to bring her camera! I’m so happy we got pictures of the exact moment he proposed.
We set the date for October 11th. We were actually planning to have the wedding in The States up until six months before so we actually chose the date based on availability
Our chosen venue was Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield. We picked this venue due to how grand and beautiful it is. We were just blown away with the house itself as well as the gardens and knew there would be plenty of places for some amazing photographs. We loved the history of the house and the land and when my mum and dad went to visit the location for us we found out that the current Lady of the house is American, and so we thought it was meant to be as Christopher is from The States and finding a manor home with American roots isn’t something you find every day!
We had a light pink and ivory colour scheme. I like very simple colours and think that the light pink always looks very classy and pretty.
I wore a trumpet style dress with lace applique detailing and (my favourite part) buttons all the way down the back. It was from a little boutique in Florida and I just fell in love with it the second I put it on and knew it was the dress (the buttons sold me). I wanted something very classy that matched the setting of the house and I felt like it fitted in perfectly.
As we were getting married in a beautiful 300-year-old manor home, Christopher wore a traditional suit that was hired from Debenhams. The groomsmen also wore the same traditional suit as Christopher.
My bridesmaids wore long strapless chiffon dresses from the same boutique I purchased my dress.
Melissa Beattie was our photographer. I had been following her posts on weddings she had been photographing and always adored her work. I absolutely loved her style of pictures and when we knew were getting married in England she had to be our photographer. I would definitely recommend her.
I’m not a big flower person so I knew I didn’t want a lot for flowers. I had was a simple bouquet of light pink and white roses with baby’s breath and a little greenery from Sandra’s Flower Shop in Glossop.
The house and rooms were so beautifully set up as they were that decorations weren’t really needed. For the wedding breakfast we just had simple flowers for the centrepieces with white and pink roses. For place settings and name cards, my wonderful cousin hand painted little wooden hearts with our guests’ names. She also hand painted our seating chart on a chalk board.
For the night reception, we were in a marquee attached to the house and we used lace to decorate mason jars, added a little sand and candles and placed several on each table. One special decoration was by the cake table, where we had pictures in rustic frames of both of our parents on their wedding days.
We wanted to bring a little bit of America with us to England and so for favours we had personalised Hershey’s Kisses. The hand painted hearts by Handmade by Sadie Fay were also part of the favour.
We chose a three tier chocolate cake with cascading soft icing roses from Marks & Spencer.
Planning a wedding from overseas meant trusting my mum and dad with the menu picking, and they did a fantastic job. For the wedding breakfast we had roasted butternut squash soup with handmade artisan bread followed by chicken stuffed with mozzarella with a smoked tomato sauce, or pasta tubs with ricotta and tomato sauce, and dessert was chocolate fudge cake. For the evening reception we had smoked sausage and bacon sandwiches and roasted bell peppers with hummus and balsamic glaze. We also hired a DJ for the evening reception to keep our guests entertained.
A special touch during the wedding breakfast that I loved was announcing ‘Happy Birthday’ to my great, great aunt who was turning 90. It was a complete surprise to her and she loved it.
There is no doubt in my mind that I would recommend our venue to other couples! I wish I could go back next month and do it all over again just for the venue. The staff are amazing and go beyond helpful. The house is beautiful and I really do think it makes the absolute perfect wedding venue. The grounds and every room are all perfect. I recommend it a thousand times over.
It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the day. It went by quicker than I ever imagined but every part was just amazing. We had the best day. If I had to pick, my favourite part was simply being home in England with everyone and getting to celebrate how I had always wished in a venue I had dreamed of. All of my family was there and my three best friends that I’ve been friends with for 22 years were all in my wedding party. All thanks to my husband who let me have our wedding in my home country.
We actually haven’t been on our honeymoon yet! We had to fly back to Florida and finish planning our reception in Chicago two months later on New Year’s Eve for Christopher’s side of the family.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy literally every single second of the day. Time goes quicker on your wedding day than any other day I swear and before you know it, it’s all over. Soak up every second you possibly can. Also, get ready early enough so you have at least an hour before the ceremony to just relax and enjoy yourself with your bridesmaids and take some pictures, this way you’re not starting the day in a rush.
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