Brides Up North

Simply Stunning. Lace & Tulle For A Modern Real Wedding At Statham Lodge, Cheshire – Sarah & Gavin

March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Amanda Balmain

Welcome to another week Brides Up North!  Any “I do”s over the weekend?

This was Team Brides Up North’s first weekend off in quite a long while, and I spent it catching up on sleep, enjoying some quality family time and sampling a few real ales at our village beer festival.  Although I still prefer a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, there’s definitely a place in my life for a pint of pale ale, a pork pie and peas and rocking out to a questionable The Killers tribute act with my one year old on my hip of a Saturday afternoon!

However you spent yours, I hope it was glorious.

Talking of great occasions, let’s get things kicked off around here with a trip to Cheshire to celebrate the nuptials of Sarah & Gavin, who wanted a pretty yet modern feel for their big day.  Here at wedding blog HQ we are loving Sarah’s gown – which proves that lace and tulle can look contemporary as well as vintage.  Just lovely.  

With images by Amanda Balmain.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Sarah says:  We got engaged on my birthday in January 2012 in Barcelona, where Gav had taken me for a birthday weekend away, and we were married don 26th October 2013 at Statham Lodge Country House Hotel in Lymm, Cheshire. 

Amanda Balmain

We wanted a venue where we could hold the whole day and night without doing any travelling and where we and our guests could stay overnight. We looked at lots of places but Statham Lodge was our favourite from the start. The building and grounds were beautiful and we liked that there were different rooms for each part of the day and evening so we felt like we had plenty of space. It has lots of character but as it’s family run it felt quite intimate and not too grand, and the staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us – they really made a difference to the day. We also got an amazing out of season package which included the food, drink, DJ… there wasn’t much we actually had to worry about!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

I love lace so that was a thread which ran throughout everything, but I didn’t want to go down the vintage route so tried to keep it quite sleek, modern and laid back.  Our colours were deep purple and grey. We really didn’t want ‘Cadbury’s purple’ which is a popular shade for weddings, so trying to find everything in the right shade was a challenge! It’s the one thing I was really particular about!

Amanda Balmain

I chose a Blue by Enzoani dress which I bought from Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham, Preston, and wore it with an amazing belt from Sash & Co. I loved the heavy lace top which was very fitted down to my hips, then the lace faded into a gorgeous tulle skirt which made me feel so special but not too over the top. The belt and lace trim veil I wore were both stunning and were the perfect finishing touches.

Amanda Balmain

Gav and the groomsmen wore light grey three piece suits from Slaters, Liverpool, with deep purple ties and Gav wore a pale grey tie to set him apart from the others. They all looked so smart and the tie, rather than a cravat, made them look and feel much more laid back which is exactly what we wanted.

My three bridesmaids wore purple chiffon maxi dresses from H&M which were a real bargain and the colour was spot on! My lovely designer friend Amy Saville altered them to fit perfectly, adding an extra layer for length and adding the lace cap sleeves and V insert at the back which tied them in with the lace theme. They all looked so beautiful!

Our one year old nephew, Jack, was a page boy and wore the cutest grey suit from Next, while our one year old nieces, Josephine and Chloe, wore ivory dresses from Ted Baker at Debenhams.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

As we had the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception in the same place we didn’t need to travel anywhere. I arrived at the venue with my Mum and Dad which was nice as we got to spend some time alone in the car on the way, and everyone met us there to get ready and start the day at Statham Lodge!

Amanda Balmain

I carried a small teardrop bouquet made up of ivory mini orchids and freesias and a couple of deep purple flowers to match the colour theme.  My bridesmaids carried small posies of ivory freesias and the Mum’s and groomsmen all had orchid button holes.  Our flowers were by 2lips Florists in Stockton Heath. 

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

The music during the ceremony made it really special for us, as we chose the string versions of some of our favourite songs. I walked down the aisle to the strings version of U2’s “With Or Without You” and it still makes me a bit teary when I hear it now!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain was our photographer and is a genius at capturing those little moments and the general feeling of the day.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

We tried to keep the day as small and personal as possible, so I made a lot myself, including the invitations, centre pieces, place names and favours. I made use of lots of small online retailers to source my many materials!  The favours which were wine glass charms with each person’s initial as a charm.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

My favourite part of our wedding was the speeches, I loved seeing everyone together, having a good time and enjoying the day. My Dad had been nervous about his speech since the minute we got engaged but I was so proud of him, and of Gav and his best man and brother, Jon, who all got the balance of emotional and funny just right! Gav says his favourite part was when I walked down the aisle, which is very sweet of him and despite concentrating so hard on not crying was also one of my favourite bits.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

The casino by Fun Casino Royale before the evening ceremony was a lot of fun and kept that day to evening part really upbeat, and at night we just wanted everyone to dance so had Dave Buck as a DJ, who came as part of the Statham Lodge package and was brilliant!

Amanda Balmain

Our honeymoon really was our trip of a lifetime, we went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, LA and finished with a week of all inclusive luxury in Mexico. It was really important to us to not get carried away and overspend on the wedding so we could go all out on our honeymoon and do a trip that we’ve always wanted to do, and the best decision we made was booking the honeymoon for January so we really stretched out the whole wedding experience and there were no January blues for us!

Amanda Balmain

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: honestly, don’t stress! Do what you want to do and don’t worry too much about all the little details. People are there to see you get married and as long as you’re having the best time, so will they.

Amanda Balmain

Congratulations Sarah & Gavin!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Amanda Balmain

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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A Modern Romance. Supplier Showcase: De Vere Bury Village Urban Resort

September 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

De Vere Bury Village Urban Resort

It’s the support of our amazing Brides Up North Featured Suppliers that allows us to work full time on the wedding blog and our related bridal exhibitions and networking parties – keeping the Northern Revolution rumbling on, and bringing you the most inspiring real weddings, fashion features and real life events across the regions. 

Today I am happy to introduce our sponsor, De Vere Bury Village Urban Resort to these pretty pages.  If you’re a North West bride with a modern edge, their suites and spa are well worth a look in on your wedding venue hunt (or even for your hen party)!  Visit their funky website at www.village-hotels.co.uk to find out more. 

Tell us about weddings at Bury Village Urban Resort?

The resort is fully licensed for civil ceremonies and has two stunning suites available for your wedding day. 

The Inspiration Suite is our largest suite situated on the first floor accommodating up to 180 guests during the day for a wedding breakfast and 250 guests for an evening reception.  It has an outdoor terrace, seating area and a private bar facility.

The Vibe Suite is a contemporary suite with amazing potential, ideal for the smaller guest list.  It can seat up to 70 Guests in the day and 110 guests for an evening reception and there’s an exclusive bar contained within the Suite.

Both rooms have the ability to transform into any vision imagined for the big day itself – we pride ourselves on making the ordinary, extraordinary!

De Vere Bury Village Urban Resort

What makes Bury Village Urban Resort a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

At Village Bury we have taken all the good stuff you’d expect from a contemporary hotel and mixed it with excellent service, food and facilities. Then there’s our staff – confident, professional, friendly. Its what we like to call service with a smile plus style.

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Real Wedding Recap Summer 2013: A Jenny Packham Gown For A Chic Real Wedding At The Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art – Emily & Jonny

June 24th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for the second half of what’s set to be the biggest and best year year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty. 

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Usual service will recommence on 1st July 2013,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far in 2013, plenty of eye candy, new features that we won’t be able to wait to share, some special supplier showcases and a couple of surprises too!

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These pages just seem to be getting prettier and prettier…first shared on the wedding blog at the beginning of April, today we join Emily and John for their cool and contemporary Real Wedding on the banks of the River Tyne.  With imagery by Katy Melling Photography

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Emily says:  Jonny asked me to marry him in November 2011 in the New Forest and we were married on 23 June 2012 at The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.  We chose the Baltic as we loved the views of the quayside and the feeling of space the venue offered.

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We wanted a modern yet relaxed look and I hope that’s what we achieved.  We chose accent colours of grey/silver and white -  we wanted to go for colours that would compliment the venue and give us a classic look.

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I wore a Jenny Packham gown which I was lucky enough to snap up at a sample sale in London and a bird cage head piece which I got from Browns Brides. I loved my dress and wish I could find an excuse to wear it again! Jonny wore a Spencer Hart suit.

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The floor length silver bridesmaids dresses were from Monsoon. We had so many groomsmen that we simply asked them all to wear their own grey suits which was a bit risky as we didn’t have the chance to see them beforehand. Luckily they didn’t let us down and all scrubbed up very well! 

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Our flowers were from 5th Avenue Flowers on Queen Street in Newcastle – they did an amazing job.

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We used Louise Lunn Makeup Artist and Katy Melling Photography both of whom we would highly recommend. We  were also very happy with the Malmaison Hotel where the bridal party got ready and where we stayed after the celebrations had finished.

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A friend of the family very kindly put a ribbon on his posh car and drove me and the bridesmaids over the bridge from the Malmaison, where we were staying, to the venue.

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Our favourite part of the day was probably the ceremony – it felt very special to be standing in front of such a lovely view of the Tyne saying our vows in front of all our friends and family. We also loved the evening celebrations – it was a relief to be able to let our hair down once the formalities were all over.

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A friend of my mother in law made the cake which was a delicious chocolate ganache with white chocolate icing. 

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We hired The Paul James Band to provide the music and we were really happy with the results. 

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We honeymooned in Cordoba in Spain.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do all they can to ensure that the staff at the venue know exactly what they expect in advance so that they can relax on the day. It’s over so quickly and you don’t want to be worrying about the finer details on the day.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Congratulations Emily & Jonny!

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Fancy seeing your big day on these pages?  Here’s how.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Katy Melling Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: Vintage Meets Modern: A Real Wedding In Manchester City Centre – Pam & Ged

December 26th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Jonny Draper Photography

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What better way to kick off Boxing Day (trip to the sales anyone?) than with a fabulous Manchester City Centre celebration sent to me by real bride Pam and Jonny Draper Photography.  A vintage meets modern wedding with the chicest of details and a Selfridges fly by?  My kinda day entirely. 

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Pam says:  On 26th March last year Ged proposed at ‘Grill on the Alley’ in Manchester City Centre. It was really unexpected – I don’t think Ged had even planned to propose that day but it was such a lovely afternoon.

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We were married on 28th September 2012 at Manchester Cathedral & our reception was at The Private Room, Restaurant Bar & Grill, Manchester.

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We knew as soon as we got engaged that we wanted our wedding to be in Manchester City Centre as it means a lot to us (we live, work and breathe the city centre and it is actually where we met too). The Cathedral is actually our parish church & is such an unbelievable building! We chose Restaurant Bar & Grill as we love it anyway but Ged and I actually met in the office that is situated in the same building, so there was something really nice about having our wedding in the same building as where we first met.

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The theme was quite simple, a mixture of modern and vintage. The Cathedral was a very traditional venue whereas the reception venue was much more modern although I tried to keep the vintage feel flowing with the candles. I think my dress captured the vintage look whilst Ged’s suit was very modern.

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I wore ‘Mandalay’ by Ian Stuart from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I knew I wanted a lace gown with a vintage feel and as soon as I saw it I just knew it was “the one”!

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Our adult bridesmaids and flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon. Ged and the Groomsmen wore suits from Reiss in Manchester. Ged’s shoes were from Jeffrey West too which he got lots of comments on!

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I love the plum colour of the bridesmaid dresses which I wanted to be complimented by the colours used in the bouquets of lilacs, pale pinks, taupe and ivory. Ged wanted to keep his suits very classic & simple with a Grey suit, white shirt and black tie!

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Jonny Draper Photography was amazing! He exceeded all our expectations and the photos have just blown us away. He was fantastic on the day a lot of guests from the wedding have commented on how good he was both on the day and also how ace the photos are!

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I carried a posy style of roses by David Wayman, Again, I wanted a modern/vintage feel to the flowers and loved the colours. All the bouquets were also wrapped with some of the lace from my dress which I had kept from when it had been altered.

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Ged wrote a poem for the ceremony which was amazing and I think had everyone in tears!

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We used our own car to escort me to the Cathedral as we only live a stone’s throw away from the Church. After the ceremony Ged and I walked from the Cathedral to the Restaurant Bar and Grill, it was only about a 10 – 15 minute walk but we’re really glad we did as Jonny got some really great shots of us especially the balloon one which I think has to be my favourite!

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My bridesmaids helped me to decorate the room the night before the wedding, we used pillar candles placed on slate to give a rustic feel and scattered over 200 tiny votive candles around which I had covered in lace. I also used Cath Kidston material to make little lavender hearts which we gave as favours.

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We also used Five Dollar Shake for all the stationery including invitations, Table Plan, Place Settings and Table Names.

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During the wedding breakfast King & Jones acoustic duo helped to create a fantastic atmosphere. The Coolers’ performed at the evening reception who were brilliant – I don’t think I stopped dancing the whole night.

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Our cake was from Richards Cakes. It was 3 tiers of vanilla, chocolate and carrot cake and was delicious!

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My favourite part of the day was our first dance! This was really special as the song means so much to us and Ged had managed to get in touch with the artist who wrote the song on twitter and he came and performed it at our wedding which was amazing! The song was ‘Moonshine & Roses’ by Franco & The Dreadnought.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try to remember that it’s your day. Don’t worry too much about anything as it will all turn out perfect on the day and by that point you won’t care anyway!

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HEARTCongratulations Pam & Ged! HEART

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured here on the wedding blog

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  – Images © 2012 Jonny Draper Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Keeping It Fresh! A Real Wedding In Northumberland – Stephanie & Martin

November 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Northumberland Wedding by Andrew Billington Photography

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Welcome to Tuesday Brides Up North!  No “it’s only the middle of the month and the overdraft is maxed on wedding paraphernalia” dreariness here!  No way Jose!

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Only the stunningly beautiful Real Wedding of North East couple Stephanie & Martin, with images by Andrew Billington Photography.  Crisp, cool and romantic, Stephanie and Martin’s big day is contemporary, fresh and oh so lovely

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North East Wedding by Andrew Billington Photography

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UK Wedding by Andrew Billington Photography

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Stephanie says:  We stayed at a romantic farm cottage in Hexham on New Years Eve 2010 – Martin proposed outside of the cottage before we went out for the evening. 

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We were married on 23rd August 2012 at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.  It was exactly what I had imagined for us. It’s a period building with lots of character but intimate and smaller than other Halls I had been to. It felt very special.

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UK Wedding Blog

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We opted for a simple colour scheme of ivory, pink and white.  I chose a lace over tulle San Patrick wedding dress with spaghetti straps and a heart shaped bust, from Wendy Coles Bridal in Monkwearmouth.

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My bridesmaids wore coral rose coloured full length strapless dresses from Coast and the boys wore suits from French Connection

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My sister, Lisa McNamara, who is a hairdresser based in Boldon did my ‘do. 

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of roses in dusty pink and ivory by Jan Watters, East Boldon.   

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Aurora Strings played during the day on the lawn and we chose Jason Issacs – a fabulous swing singer – to sing in the evening. 

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We had a very special guest – an RAF Sea King helicopter!  It was a flyover from RAF Boulmer as Martin is a Search & Rescue helicopter pilot.

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The food at Eshott was fabulous, and I loved getting married on the stairs below the stained glass window – it felt really special and different to any wedding I had been to.

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Our cake was a combination of two tiers of fruit & one sponge decorated with pink icing roses, made by Martins grandparents who are (handily!) retired bakers.  We also chose a cake of cheese – bought from Fenwick’s food hall, Newcastle.

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Martin made flight tickets for the guests and the destinations were places we had either been or were going to on our honeymoon, and they were the names of the tables.

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We also left postcards of the places on the tables so that people could write us a special message and the beers on the table matched the table names – e.g. Phuket table had Chang beer & the Barcelona table had San Miguel beer etc!

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There were a few favourite moments for me.  Martin did a rhyming speech which was hilarious and Martin’s brother sang during the ceremony which was really special.

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After the wedding we took a long honeymoon and travelled around Thailand for three weeks. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to stay true to what you originally want for your wedding – don’t be swayed by expensive stuff and extras that you don’t really need.

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Congratulations Stephanie & Martin!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on these pretty pages.

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  – Images © 2012 Andrew Billington Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Best In Show: 3 Girls & A Wedding

July 9th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Three Girls and A Wedding

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This weekend’s blog posts are proving to be very Yorkshire focused.  Apologies to my readers in the other parts of the North.  I haven’t forgotten you!  I think it must be all the excitement about the Brides Up North Yorkshire Tweet Up influencing my blogging decisions (I am SOOOOO EXCITED!).  Or maybe it’s just that when the sun is shining and the grass is green, there is no nicer place to be than Yorkshire…

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Any hoo, there are a few more Yorkshire-centric specials to come this weekend, so bear with me!  Not least this lovely instalment from the ladies behind 3 Girls & A Wedding who are previewing their unique wedding fair concept at The Great Yorkshire Show this week.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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The girls say: We want to tell you some of the fabulous things we have on offer for our brides at our preview stand at the Great Yorkshire Show!  We have decided to showcase two very different looks at the show,  the first being our Retro Brights theme (think Sophia Lauren inspired Mediterranean vintage) with lots of cute retro touches. The second look is cocktail hour (a concept big in the US and making its way over here as dusk weddings become more popular). This look is very clean, crystal, white sparkle and cocktails.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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The whole point of our show is to create a relaxed and informal way in which couples can interact with the suppliers and provide them with the space and inspiration they need to create their own big day! We are  previewing some brand new ideas and we would love to hear brides’ thoughts.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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First up is our inspiration station! Our stand has been put together with the assistance of some amazing suppliers in the industry. We have asked each of them to send us a few images of their work to be displayed on our inspiration station.  Brides and grooms will be encouraged to take some time to sit and chat, enjoy a drink and let their imagination run away with them as they create their own mood board with the images. When they have a look they love we simply give the details of all the suppliers whose work appears on their mood board and they can walk away with their dream team.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Our Genius Cafe is the next new concept we will be showcasing. This is really exciting to us as nobody exhibits this way at the moment. This will be an area for couples to come and sit and chat with the experts! Workshops will be on offer with industry professionals from gown designers to cake makers, wedding bloggers to wedding planners. The couple will be able to book to attend the workshops that they wish and get practical advise and useful tips. There will also be Q&A sessions where the experts will answer your wedding day dilemmas and get you back on the right track, as well as interactive roaming catwalk shows where there is chance to discuss all elements of the gowns on display with the models, retailers or even the designers themselves. Obviously this is a big operation so we are previewing this an a smaller scale at the show. We have Genius Cafe sessions at 11am and 3pm on all three days of the Great Yorkshire Show with drinks and canapés and cake. We will be giving brides the opportunity to discuss wedding issues and ask advice from any/all of the Three Girls (remember we cover dresses, flowers and photography!) as well more information on the full scale show.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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The first 50 brides to the stand each day will receive a beautiful branded A5 folder full of all our trusted suppliers information! Perfectly handbag sized and full of contacts, a really big help on your wedding planning journey!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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The Great Yorkshire Show is held in Harrogate on 12th – 14th July 2011 and is attended by over 160,000 people! This year we have a royal visit too with Prince Charles and Camilla attending the show on Wednesday 13th July :-) More information can be found and tickets can be booked at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk and tickets can also be purchased on the day.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Cat Hepple Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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