October 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m trying to embrace the season – hollowing pumpkins, fur lined boots, fireworks parties and thoughts drifting to Christmas lists… and then a wedding like this drops into my inbox.
Vicky and Matthew, what are you trying to do to me? Let’s soak up some sun, as we join this lucky Manchester based couple for their stunning destination wedding on the white isle.
No hard feelings. Not many, at least.
Images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.
Vicky says: Matt proposed to me on a random Wednesday evening in August 2013. Matt took me by surprise and decided he would take me out for tea and an overnight stay in Manchester, this immediately roused suspicions but I continued pretending I had no idea. After dining at Australasia, Matt took a me back to the Great John Street Hotel – At this point I believed the proposal was not going to happen, but on arriving back to the room I found rose petals scattered on the bed and a bottle of champagne and strawberries awaiting me arrival. Needless to say tears of joy flowed and more alcohol was consumed.
We were married on Wednesday 27th August 2014 at Elixir Shore Club in Cala Codolar, Ibiza. After doing a 3 day long recce of our favourite Island (somewhere we frequent regularly) we settled on our final appointment ‘Elixir’. Not only were we blown away by the views (tears flowed again) but Vickki who was both the owner and in charge of running the venue, was the most welcoming, friendly person we had encountered so far.
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed and informal to suit the Ibizan vibe. After losing my father in 2013, I decided I would prefer a very informal affair where friends and family could come together and celebrate the event without it being a stifling ‘traditional English’ wedding.
We opted for bright colours so they would stand out against the Ibiza beach backdrop.
I decided to wear something light and comfortable, particularly with the time of year and the obvious heat expected in Ibiza. As it happened, our wedding day apparently reached temperatures of 43 degrees.
I purchased my dress from Bride by Swarbricks in Middleton. The dress is named the Pronovias ‘Pelicano’. The lady who looked after me also holidays in Ibiza every year so we had a lot to talk about during the fitting stages.
Matthew wore a powder blue cotton suit from Next, ideal for warm temperatures. The best man and ushers wore the same suit in a different colour.
James Tracey was our photographer as recommended by friends. We were blown away by his images of our friend’s wedding, particularly the contemporary edginess and just knew we had to book him.
All flowers were silk and created by Nicola Knight in York. All our guests brought a bunch of flowers with them, along with copper sprayed Kilner jars for the flowers to sit in on the tables. We gave away the flowers at the end for guests to keep as a memory.
All the decoration on the day was completed by family and friends, Molly, Phil and Amanda Newton, Rosie and some serious ribbon tying from Steven Grainger.
Our favours were created by Echo Designs and consisted of handmade hanging hearts with printed maps of Ibiza on them.
We opted for a very laid back cake, a favourite of ours, a Victoria Sponge made by my sister in law Molly in a villa microwave oven – it took a few attempts but tasted delicious!
We chose the luxury wedding BBQ as arranged by Elixir and we can honestly say it’s the best food we have ever tasted and many of our guests agreed. The BBQ was served as a buffet style again taking on a more relaxed feel to the day.
My mum pre-recorded her own performance of ‘All of Me’ by John Legend which was played as we walked back up the aisle. We prepared all other music ourselves and had a DJ, Steve later in the evening who was recommended by Elixir.
We used Kids in Ibiza to look after children who cared for the children perfectly. One of the guests was stunned to see her daughter being pushed around in her push chair by the babysitter so she was able to eat her evening meal. A close friend Heidi Heywood, prepared children’s party bags for the kids which they loved!
Una, who manages the weddings at Elixir, paid perfect attention to every single detail and everything ran so smoothly we couldn’t have asked for anyone better. We would 100% recommend our venue to anyone looking to enjoy a wedding on the White Isle.
We have just returned from a two week honeymoon, which consisted of one week touring Sri Lanka and one week in the Maldives on the island of Kuramathi. We had a cultured week in Sri Lanka then a week where we truly relaxed in the Maldives where we had the opportunity to snorkel with tropical fish and sharks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff (or big stuff) and enjoy every minute.
October 16th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
This real wedding is a little bit special to me because I went to school with the bride and one of my best friends Kate *waves* was one of her lovely bridesmaids.
If I had to describe Laurie it would be a warm and laid back person who likes the pretty things in life and enjoys having a flippin good time – to me this wedding is a perfect reflection of that.
I love how personal her and Paddy made their big day. From the engagement and wedding date tied in with the time they met (at Leeds Festival no less) to the great involvement from their family and friends to make the day a truly special affair.
Also, I have to mention that two of Laurie’s bridesmaids and her photographer were pregnant at the time of the wedding so massive kudos to the lovely ladies for completing their duties with a big smiles as well as big bellies!
Right, over to Laurie for those all important details.
Photos by Gabrielle Bower Photography.
Laurie says: We got engaged on the 23rd of August 2013, which was a year to the day since we met at Leeds Festival. Paddy proposed at home but he needed to get me out the way while he prepared everything which is where my friend Kate came in. It was very personal, he lit lots of candles all around the house and waited patiently for me to come home from being out with Kate. When I arrived he told me I was his best friend, that he loved me and then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
We set the date for the 28th of August 2014, because we met on a Thursday two years previously.
Our chosen wedding venue was Ringwood Hall in Chesterfield. We looked at several small venues as we wanted a more intimate wedding than most. I’d been to a few weddings at Ringwood Hall and knew it was a really beautiful venue so decided to go take a look, even just to rule it out. They showed us their two smaller venue rooms, which Paddy and I immediately fell in love with. The staff at Ringwood Hall were absolutely fantastic too!
We didn’t have a theme as such; instead we just choose things that we loved as we wanted a really relaxed wedding. We both love vintage, retro, boho things so I suppose you could say we went down that road. Navy featured throughout the wedding as it’s mine and Paddy’s favourite colour. The bridesmaids wore navy which looked really flattering and classy and Paddy wore a navy tie.
I chose a very simple floor-length dress in ivory, it had a slight drape at the back and a small train. I always knew I wanted something simple and when I tried the dress on at the Monsoon store in Manchester I just knew that was the one. To complete my look my cousin Georgina Dobson did my make- up, she’s an incredible make-up artist, and my best friend Kelly Pendleton did my hair. I totally left it down to both of them (no pressure) and they were absolutely fantastic.
Paddy picked a grey three-piece suit, white shirt and navy tie all from Next for his big day attire.
My bridesmaids wore navy dresses that I ordered online from China and a good friend of mine, Sarah Coombes, tailored them all to fit perfectly. I was so pleased with the dresses and so were the bridesmaids. Two of them were eight months pregnant at the time of the wedding, my sister Hayley and my friend Kate, so it was really important the dresses were flattering and that the girls felt comfortable in them.
Our fab photographer was a very good friend of mine, Gabrielle Bower. Paddy and I would recommend Gabrielle to everyone; she is so talented and super professional. We were absolutely amazed with our photos, in fact I cried when I saw them. Like the rest of our wedding we wanted the photos to be relaxed and Gabs just totally got us and what we wanted straight away. She captured every single moment and more.
My flowers were done by a lovely lady called Liz at Meadow Sweet in Sheffield. They were wild and natural style flowers, all locally grown. We absolutely loved them and so did all our guests. In addition to floral decorations, my very creative and talented sister-in-law Beck at Little Ghost made our stunning table stationary, invites and table plan.
We choose a three- tier Victoria sponge with strawberries – or as it’s known a ‘naked cake’ for our wedding day. It was absolutely amazing. A lovely lady at Swoon Bakery made it for us. Yum, yum!
We selected a ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’s’ menu from Ringwood Hall for our meal. For starters there was a choice of tomato bruschetta or pate, mains was either beef with Yorkshire puddings or chicken in a tarragon and mushroom sauce and for deserts there was strawberry shortcake or chocolate profiteroles. Ringwood Hall had a great choice of food and we really enjoyed the taster session. It was so difficult to choose but we went with our favourites.
I would 110 per cent recommend Ringwood Hall to other wedding couples – and not just for the food. The staff were great and the service was fantastic! They took total control of the whole day so everything ran so smoothly. Their packages are worth every single penny.
To get the party started we had a family member DJ for us in the evening. We had a great time dancing the night away!
My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle to see my husband-to-be. Other than that we couldn’t possibly pin point another ‘best part’ of the day – it was all truly amazing and more than what we’d ever dreamt of.
For our honeymoon we went to Mexico for two weeks, it was absolutely fantastic. Wish we were then now. We got married on the Thursday, booked it on the Saturday and jetted off the following Saturday. Our honeymoon was all thanks to our generous family and friends who gave us money towards it.
My top tip to other brides-to-be would be to have what you want and be sure to get your other half involved. Don’t be lured into gimmicks if you’re on a budget, a perfect day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Enjoy planning it! Our wedding was very personal and we had great family and friends with various talents that kindly offered their expertise to help us create our perfect day for which we are very grateful.
Since our big day Hayley has given birth to a gorgeous baby boy named Joshua and Kate has also had a cute little boy called Ollie. Our photographer Gabs shot our wedding whilst pregnant so she is also soon to be a mum!
October 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding feature comes a little later than planned. I’ve been in London attending the Cosmopolitan Wedding Blog Awards alongside fellow leaders in our industry, and travelling back Up North today, East Coast Wifi’s upload speed just ain’t up to scratch for blog business.
This little corner of the internet was proud to be nominated for Best Wedding Blog in last night’s ceremony, and whilst we didn’t take the gong – robbed! – it was great to be recognised for our hard work, and celebrate it in a whirl of Cosmos (what else?), glitter and cupcakes.
A huge thank you to all our readers and supporters who voted for us.
It’s straight back into the pretty here on these pages this evening, as we join reader Vivienne and her new husband Dave for their lovely day at the gorgeously vintage Victoria Baths in Manchester.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.
Vivienne says: I was 8 months pregnant and Dave surprised me with a mini break to Loch Lomond. The proposal came as a total surprise as we had been together for 9 years so had given up dropping hints…. he was very romantic though, we walked to a private beach where he got down on one knee.
We were married on Saturday 12th April 2014. We chose this date because, being a teacher, I needed to fit it in with school holidays. I also love that time of year as it’s when all the fresh flowers start to bloom and sunshine comes out after winter.
We only looked at a few venues, and when we walked into the Victoria Baths, we knew straight away that it was the venue for us. We wanted a venue we could put our own stamp on and make all our own decisions on the details of our day.
We had a vintage fete theme, mostly because we could make all our own decorations and I felt that the colours would suit an April wedding. We tried to use the colours blue and green in order to complement the colours of our venue. However, we really weren’t too prescriptive as I didn’t want to be dashing round shops colour matching in the run up to our day.
We used my grandma’s old table cloths to decorate tables such as where we signed the register. Looking back at photos, they are even more special because of these personal touches.
We used Hipswing Entertainments to hire our beautiful lanterns over the dance floor. They were fantastic and really special when it got darker for our first dance.
As little girls, myself and my sister got bridesmaid dresses from a shop in Edinburgh called Pretty Women. Since that day we have said we will get our own wedding dresses from there and every time we visit family in Edinburgh look forward to seeing what’s new in the window.
I absolutely love Audrey Hepburn and felt inspired by the wedding dress she wears in Funny Face. After trying on a range of dresses, I knew it was the one for me as couldn’t resist spinning round and watching the skirt float round!7
Dave wore a navy 3 piece suit from a brand called Tiger of Sweden.
Our photographer was James Tracey, we saw his photo’s of another wedding at our venue and loved them. We loved how he incorporated the venue into his photographs and caught every emotion during the day.
I would definitely recommend him, in fact a lot of our wedding guests asked if he was a friend we had used as he is so personable and easy to get on with!
As the venue we used was so big, we ordered our flowers directly from a wholesaler. We used Triangle Nursery, I told them the theme of our wedding and they suggested suitable options for us. We then filled paper covered tin cans for the tables and to decorate the venue.
I intended to use the flowers we ordered for my bouquet, however a couple I days before the wedding I walked into Marks and and Spencer and saw the most beautiful bunch of pink tulips. With help from my mum we used these with some gypsophila to create my bouquet.
We had quite strong ideas about the foods we wanted, so chose Thyme Out Deli, Didsbury to do our catering. They took our ideas and made the most delicious foods for us.
We spent weekends cleaning slate so that we could serve local cheeses and ham as a ploughman’s starter board to share. For main we had steak and Manchester ale pie, Thyme Out even painstakingly cut out our initials to put on the top of every pie. We spent further weekends scouring charity shops and making our own vintage cake stands to serve our desserts of macaroons, lemon tarts and brownies on.
My kind and talented friend Hannah Bayliss made our cake. I told her I wanted it to be sage green and was using vintage lace in the wedding, she created the most perfect cake for us!
Our wedding was the weekend before Easter so we gave Lindt bunnies as favours.
My best friend Joanna Łabiak did my make up on the day. I was so pleased to have her with me during an anxious morning and loved the pretty colours of the make up she used on me. Once my make up was complete, Joanna also dashed to our venue to set up and play”Blowers daughter” by Damien Rice on the piano while I walked down the aisle. This is the song we both remember when we first met and it’s been special to us ever since.
We chose a Sheffield band called The Bootleggers, one of our friends had seen them at a wedding and said they were brilliant and everyone was up on the dance floor. They definitely didn’t disappoint!
Walking back down the aisle with our daughter Ava was definitely my favourite part of the day.
Our guests kindly contributed to our honeymoon in Las Vegas. When looking for a honeymoon destination, we realised that this would be the last opportunity for a child free holiday so felt Las Vegas was perfect! We had an amazing week, some days spent simply lying by the pool, recuperating from all the wedding chaos!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t become too fixated on thing such as colour schemes. Go with what you like and it will all come together on the day and be personal to you. Make sure you use family and friends to help out too as this will make the day even more special.
September 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Hey, hey its only bloomin’ Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a breather.
Lets get out in the fresh air and join Joanne and Brendan for their fresh and vibrant countryside wedding.
Just what the doctor ordered.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, James Tracey Photography.
Joanne says: We got engaged at The Abode Hotel, Chester on the 17th February 2012.
Brendan left for work early one morning as normal. I got up an hour later, walked to the bathroom and found an envelope taped to the door! In the envelope was a letter from Brendan explaining how I wasn’t going to work that day as he had booked it off for me (with the help of my friend at work). I was told to pack a bag for a night away and would be picked up at 11am. Brendan had even included the weather forecast for the mystery location so I could plan as well as a menu for a restaurant we were going to that night! Brendan picked me up as planned (he’d had to hang around in Tesco for four hours!) and we set off…I still didn’t know where we were going. Eventually it became clear we were heading for Chester.
We went for an amazing lunch at Piccolino’s, complete with Prosecco! We then made our way to The Abode Hotel by the racecourse, checking into an amazing luxury bedroom! I started unpacking my bag and could hear Brendan rustling through his and I thought “What is he doing?!” Next thing I hear is Brendan say, “Joanne”. I turned around and he was on one knee! “You know I don’t have a way with words…will you marry me?”
Brendan has since told me that he got a bit worried because it took a while for me to say yes between the tears!
We got married at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Chorley, Lancashire on Friday 20th June 2014. The church has always been special to me as my Grandma used to take me there when I young and her funeral was held there as well as our Niece’s Christening. The inside of the Church is absolutely gorgeous and Father Stanley is really down to earth and approachable.
We had our reception at Marsh Farm Hall in Great Eccleston. We went for this venue due to Brendan wanting to organise all of the catering at the wedding himself! Brendan has worked in the catering industry all of his life and has run so many weddings, so his had to be the best he’s ever done. Marsh Farm Hall allowed him to plan the whole food service from scratch!
We went for a vintage/shabby chic look to fit in with the style of our reception venue. The hall itself is a gorgeous bare-stone wall room, with a beautiful bar area. There is so much land surrounding the property, which made it an easy choice to go for natural colours. I made all of the wedding stationery myself with the help of my Sister, using Kraft card, cream lace and hessian string. I can change my mind with colours quite a lot so I didn’t want to go with a colour in case I went off it! We also thought a neutral theme would suit the venue.
My dress was Amanda Wyatt “Felicia”. I had no idea what style I wanted and went with a completely open mind. It worked though as it was the one and only shop I went to! The Felicia was the last dress I spotted on the way to the changing room and the first I tried on… none of the others compared to it (luckily my sister is very honest and would just laugh when a dress didn’t suit me)! I loved everything about it – the fit, the lace overlay and just enough sparkle!
I carried a simple ball of gypsophila (Baby’s Breath) bouquet, from Flowers in Thyme based at Heskin Hall in Chorley.
Brendan got his suit from Slaters in Preston. He went for a grey suit with tails, with a cream waistcoat. To keep it a bit more modern, he opted for a tie instead of cravat. He looked so handsome.
Our bridesmaids (both of Brendan’s sisters, with my sister as maid of honour) wore dresses from Monsoon. They were a cornflower blue. Our flower girl, Eva (our Niece) wore a gorgeous little dress with sewn on flowers with diamantes from Debenhams.
Both of our Dad’s and Brendan’s groomsmen, including our Nephew, Lennon who was pageboy, wore the same suit as Brendan’s but with grey waistcoats. All of their ties and pocket handkerchiefs were specially made to match the bridesmaid colours (it turned out to be a nightmare to try and match the colour).
James Tracey did our photographs. I found James on the internet about a year before the wedding and his photos stood out.
We could not praise or recommend him enough! For a couple who aren’t really comfortable in front of the camera, we chose James for his natural style of photographs, getting the shots without people realising it. He made us feel so relaxed on the day and even managed to get Eva to pose!
We used gypsophila wreaths inside the birdcages (from Dunelm) on the tables. We also had small vases of gypsophila along the top table. I bought the vases from Home Bargains (they definitely were bargains at 50p a vase!) and Flowers in Thyme dressed them for us.
The tables and chairs were dressed by Create and Cherish – Incorporating Cherish Wedding Services from Chorley. As I didn’t want to have a colour in the theme, I wanted to keep things neutral. Kirsten was so helpful in working out which fabrics would work. The room looked amazing! We had lace on the chairs with brooches on each one.
We became a bit stuck about what to get as favours, knowing we wouldn’t really find anything that would suit men and women, so instead we went for something that would look good on the tables and were a bit different! We went to Birkacre Garden Centre in Chorley and ordered a mixture of 60 herb plants. Our Mums then re-potted them into some terracotta pots we bought online. The Groomsmen then had the job to wrap them with cellophane the night before… speedily so they could watch the England match!
Five of our Grandparents are no longer with us, but we wanted them to a part of the day. We got some photos of them all and put them together with a message “We know you’d be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away”. This was proudly displayed at the entrance door.
The food is where Brendan came into his own! I knew this was where I had to take a step back and completely trust his ideas. We both love our food so Brendan took a lot of time over choosing the perfect menu including Chicken Liver Parfait, Fillet of Beef (accompanied by a Herb Rosti, Glazed Parmentier Potatoes, Chantenay Carrots and Baby Asparagus with a Red Wine Jus) and Lemon Possett, washed down with a selection of cheeses, coffee and chocolates.
With the help from my Dad and his friend Ahmed, Brendan made mini “wine crates” for the starter to be served in. He ordered personalised stencils with “Quirke Dootson Est. 2004 Blackpool” (we met in 2004 in Blackpool). They were amazing! They also doubled up as another favour for guests to take away.
The meal absolutely blew everyone away! Paul (the chef) did us so proud and we could not have had a more perfect meal!
Our guests had red and white wine on the tables. The white was Quirky Bird Chenin Blanc Semillon Muscat – I spotted it in Tesco and loved the fact I was about to become a “Quirky Bird” (surname Quirke!) so had to have it! It turned out to be quite a nice wine too! Our red was the only wine I have managed to get Brendan to drink with me…Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva.
For the toast we had Blanc de Bleu sparkling wine. My dad and I are huge Manchester City fans, so this was my only way I was allowed to get blue into the wedding!
We bought a few outdoor games, including Twister for the kids (and bigger kids!) to play with to make the most of the nice weather!
We chose a DJ Brendan has worked with quite a lot, so knew how good he was, Paul Atkinson from Ice Entertainment. He was brilliant, even mingled with guests on the dance floor! He got a great mix of music which meant the dance floor was full most of the night!
We also had a photo booth in the evening, from Boothtube. Being a City fan… I sneaked Joe Hart and Yaya Toure masks into the accessories box!
We would definitely recommend Marsh Farm Hall – for any event!
Emma and her family were so helpful, letting Brendan get on with the set up and helping out when needed. We even had comments from family and friends about how nice Emma was and how she couldn’t do enough for everyone on the day.
They even got us a couple of presents – a newspaper from the day we got married and a bottle of wine with a personalised label.
We just need an excuse for another party there!
Our parents were an amazing help running up to the wedding… without them and all of their help the day would not have been as amazing as it was!
For our honeymoon, we had two weeks in Cala Llonga, Ibiza at the Fiesta Hotel Cala Llonga.
Brendan and I went on our first holiday together in Ibiza ten years earlier and fell in love with it! On that holiday, we went on a boat trip round to Cala Llonga one day – after booking the honeymoon we found a picture of Brendan in the sea, with our honeymoon hotel in the background.
As a treat for Brendan, I booked us tickets to watch Lily Allen at Ibiza Rocks. My sister and her partner then gave us some money as our wedding present, with strict instructions to get Tiny Tempah tickets too (my treat!)! We had such a great time on the VIP balcony!
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to take in every minute! It’s scary how quickly it can all become a blur! Make sure your Groom doesn’t throw out his speech… I would love to be able to read Brendan’s again, and make sure you get plenty of photos (even selfies!) with all your loved ones.
September 22nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Wedding couples’ budgets vary, as do their lists of priorities. While some will want to splurge on a delicious wedding banquet fit for a king and queen, others would much rather invest in an amazing band to keep the dance floor rocking all night long.
On a similar note, brides have different ideas of what price tag their wedding attire should carry. A proposal can mean the green light to spend a crazy amount of money on a couture dress, designer heels and matching accessories – because hey, if you don’t do it on your wedding day when will you ever have a license to spend so frivolously again?
But then there are other lines of thought – why spend so much on a dress that I’ll only where for one day? I’d rather have a blow out on fancy footwear that I can wear well beyond the wedding day? I’ll spend less on the dress and put the money saved towards my dream honeymoon.
Of course there’s no right or wrong answer as to how much one should spend on a wedding dress – it’s a case of each to their own.
For those brides that are on smaller budgets, or who would simply prefer to spend in other areas, there are some incredibly pretty high street bridal offerings that won’t completely break the bank.
An expert in elegance, style and class, high street honey Monsoon has just released its autumn/winter 2014 bridal collection, and ladies; you’re in for a treat!
Sleek and slim-line in the majority, the dresses are fabulously flattering and not one oversteps the £700 mark. In fact one of my favourites in the collection is actually the cheapest. The stunning Lyra maxi dress, which features a sparkling band hand embellished with beads and diamantes, comes in at just £229.
Mid-range dresses include Rosanna, Iris and May, though each offers a totally different look. The high-waisted Rosanna is a pretty vintage vision with a sparkling diamante and bead trimmed scalloped neckline and antique broach detailing. Meanwhile the cute tea-length Iris dress is ideal for 50- style brides with its boned bodice, full skirt and floral appliquéd layers. May is perhaps a better option for brides wanting a more fitted gown. Though less voluminous, the romantic knee-length design still packs a punch its lavishly embroidered finish.
Creeping up to the £500 region we have the beautiful Breya. The romantic, mermaid silhouette with a scalloped court train boasts vintage Indian-inspired metallic embroidered tulle, adorned with shimmering seed pearls, beads and miniature sequins. This is most definitely a show stopper!
Finally the enchanting Ellis dress is top of the shop at £699. According to its creators, this dress has been tailored to form-flattering perfection so brides can walk the aisle with the utmost confidence.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Monsoon has also designed a collection of highly-desirable bridal shoes, which remain within the £50-£100 price bracket, so you can pocket even more pennies.
1. Lyra, £229
2. May, £249
3. Rosanna, £299
4. Iris, £299
5. Jessica, £299
6. Breya, £499
7. Erynne, £499
8. Ellis, £699
All prices correct at the time of publishing.
August 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Wow – just wow! This wedding knocked my socks off the moment I received the images of Amy and Andy’s big day set in good old Yorkshire.
The beautiful colour palette of coral, yellow, creams and gold sets the prettiness level sky high and Amy makes one of the most stunning brides I’ve ever seen in her customised Maggie Sottero dress and ethereal twisted-twig flower crown.
There are lots of cute personal touches in this wedding that made for a memorable, stylish and super enjoyable day.
So let’s go back to the start – the proposal. Be warned ladies, it’s a tear jerker (excellent work Andy)!
With photography by Kate Cooper.
Amy says: Andy proposed on February 16th 2013. He had taken me out for an Italian and when we got home he asked me to stay in the car for a minute and, although confused, I did as I was told. After about five minutes, and almost freezing to death, he came out to get me. When I walked into the house he’d covered the living room in candles and our favourite song, A Real Human by College and Electric Youth, was playing. It was beautiful. As I walked further into the house he’d lit candles up the stairs and alongside the candles were little notes tied to a long ribbon. As I went up the stairs the notes went through all of the best moments we’d had so far including moving in together, our first holiday and bringing home our miniature schnauzer, Enzo.
The ribbon went up the stairs and into the bedroom where it stopped on the bed. The card on the bed told me to turn around and he was down on one knee behind me. We both cried, I said yes and then cried some more down the phone to anyone who’d answer my calls! I loved my proposal and he’d put so much thought into everything. It was such a perfect evening and it made it more special that it was just us two at home.
We set the date for Saturday May 31st 2014. Our plan was to get married later on in the year but my grandparents fell ill and so the most important thing was that they shared our day with us. Unfortunately, two of my grandparents passed away during our engagement but we know they were looking down on us and we tried to make them proud.
We chose the Whiston Manorial Barn in Rotherham as our wedding venue. We had always loved the idea of having a barn wedding but found it difficult to find exactly what we wanted. When we finally looked around the Manorial Barn we instantly knew it was where we’d marry. It is such a breath-taking place and it was exactly what we’d spent so long looking for. We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The women who co-ordinate the weddings at the barn, Claire and Karen, were so helpful and were always at the other end of an email or phone call whenever we needed advice or help.
We didn’t necessarily have a theme for our wedding, but just wanted it to be a fun atmosphere full of colour. We were very unsure about the colour scheme at first but as it was a summer wedding we decided to go for something bright. My favourite colours are coral and yellow and so we wanted to incorporate these and we tied them with creams and gold. We wanted the flowers to be the main focus of the decorations as they added so much colour so we kept everything else quite neutral and it seemed to work well.
We hired a cream Daimler V4 1/2 to transport the bridal party to the venue. As the company were based only 15 minutes away we decided to have just one car to do two trips so my bridesmaids and mum went first and then it came back to collect me and my dad. I remember the wait feeling like forever when really it was only half-an-hour. The service we used was called American Pie Limos, based in Wales, South Yorkshire. We would highly recommend them as they were perfectly on time and free Champagne is always a winner!
I’m quite into textiles and sewing and so my initial plan was to make my own wedding dress. I had help from my grandma as she used to be a seamstress and we bought a few Vogue patterns to use and modify. Unfortunately around August last year my granddad was diagnosed with cancer and so everything was put on hold. As it was such a stressful time for the family, I decided to visit a bridal shop called Blushes in Sheffield. The shop assistant Zoe, took down my details and potential styles I liked. After describing my ideal dress she pulled one out and it was perfect – well almost. The dress was Dalton by Maggie Sottero but I had it altered quite a lot to fit the design that me and my grandma were initially going to make ourselves. It was supposed to have a zip right up the back which was made into a ‘V’ back and we shortened the sleeves. We also added netting underneath to make it kick out more.
Andy wore a three-piece Hugo Boss suit in steel grey which fitted him perfectly! He had a white shirt with ivory wool tie. He’d also bought a pair of dark brown brogues. He looked so dapper!
We didn’t really have set rules on what our bridesmaids/groomsmen would wear. This was mainly because we wanted them to be able to wear their outfits again and so it was important that they really liked them. The adult bridesmaids, Katherine, Laura and Beth, wore art-deco style taupe gowns embellished with steel beads by Adrianna Papell from House of Fraser. The dresses were gorgeous and the girls looked absolutely stunning! Our nieces and flower girls, Lily and Josie, wore dresses from Monsoon and looked so adorable.
The groomsmen all wore different suits and whatever they felt comfortable in. We just wanted everyone to feel relaxed – and they really brushed up well!
When it came to our wedding flowers, I carried a bouquet made up of Garden Roses, Peonies, Scabia seed heads, Eucalyptus, Freesia, Craspedia, Panicum Fountain Grasses, Larkspur and Nigella. As mentioned, we wanted the flowers to be the focus of our wedding and they were the main decoration for the barn. The coral, orange and yellow colours tied together beautifully and the florist did such a great job at putting them all together. I also wore a flower crown with just a few flowers on one front side of the band. This was made from twisted stems/twigs and I loved it!
My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet but the colours were a bit more subtle. Lily had an even smaller bouquet and Josie had a single peony wrapped in ribbon. It was all put together by the very talented Kath who owns Of The Wild in Broomhill, Sheffield. She got everything absolutely spot-on and I actually cried when I saw our flowers because they were so stunning and were exactly what we had asked for. Kath is very highly recommended if you’re after something a little different and more detailed than your average bouquet.
Our photographer on the day was the amazing Kate Cooper. We arranged an engagement shoot with her beforehand just because Andy and I aren’t the most graceful people in front of a camera. She made us feel so comfortable and laughed along with us when it was a little awkward – it was fun overall and we soon loosened up. We did get some lovely photos and it definitely set us up for the main event.
We had always liked the idea of our photos being natural and we wanted someone to capture people in naturally happy settings and record the general mood of the day. We did have a few staged photos of family but the rest we left completely to Kate. We put a great amount of trust in her (sorry Kate) but we knew she’d do an amazing job. We are going to recommend her to anyone in need of a photographer because she is honestly one of the nicest people we have ever met and worked with. We are so thankful that she was there, not only to capture our day, but to help us celebrate. Knowing that Kate was around meant that we could enjoy our day so much more without the worry that the atmosphere wouldn’t be captured and that things would get missed. Kate covered absolutely everything from table settings, venue details, to our terrible first dance and we were speechless when we received our photos. They were simply incredible.
Our floral decorations added an amazing boost of colour to our tables and brought a summery feel to the venue. To add to the decor, I made a trip to Ikea where I bought polka dot lace fabric and made table runners. We had yellow and orange candles scattered around and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made some lovely bunting for us to tie from the beams. Andy is very artistic and he did a great job of designing all of our table names, seating plan and stationery himself. We had our chair covers done by a lady named Paula from Cover in Style and she also put up some fairy lights for us which looked gorgeous at night when the main lights were dimmed.
Andy’s mum, Margaret, is the best at baking so there was never any question about who would make our wedding cake. We had a few designs in mind but wanted to keep it quite simple. We finally decided on a deep two-tier cake with little icing beads at the bases and a large pink peony on top. One tier was Victoria sponge and the other chocolate and we decorated the cake board with gold glitter to tie it all together. It was so delicious! Margaret also made us our wedding favours which were little heart shaped shortbread biscuits topped with white icing and gold glitter sprinkles – yum!
Our wedding menu consisted of pate for starters, ‘Chicken Manorial Barn’ for main, which was chicken in puff pastry served with vegetables, and then Andy’s favourite for dessert – treacle sponge. The food was provided by the staff at the Manorial Barn and it was well presented and gorgeous! For the reception we also hired Emily’s Ice Cream Bike who provided our guests with yummy ice cream in all sorts of flavours. If anyone hires them they’d be a fool not to choose Jaffa Cake ice cream, it was so good!
We wanted to keep things simple at the reception and just enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment so we simply had a DJ provided by the barn as our entertainment. He was great and we were able to put together our own playlist before the night. We incorporated this into our wedding invites and asked guests to suggest a song to dance to. The responses were somewhat interesting but it just made it that bit more personal for the guests and everyone really enjoyed it. We had dance-offs, dirty dancing lifts (ending with collapsed tables and red wine on white shirts) and general sassiness, especially from the boys!
There were several special touches on the day which helped to make it all the more personal and memorable. We both wrote our own vows for the ceremony as we found the standard vows very basic and not very personal. We decided not to show each other until we read them in front of each other on the day which made it that much more exciting! They were both very different but it is something we will both remember and we kept the books we wrote them in so we can look back at them from time to time.
My nan also lent me her wedding pearls for the ceremony which I thought was very touching. The pearls had been worn by my nan, my mum and my auntie on their wedding days so it was an honour to be able to wear them. I had decided to put the necklace on just before leaving my parents house but as I put it on one of the strings snapped and it was then a mad rush to fix it. Luckily my matron of honour, Katherine, whipped out a sewing kit and gave it to me all brand new when I arrived at the barn. My other nan had always kept a bottle cork with a penny stuck through the middle of it. I was told this was supposed to be good luck but with my bouquet I was unable to carry it, so it got stuck in my bra – classy!
Andy’s dancing also added a certain special touch to the day. It’s not possible to describe this – it has to be seen to be believed, trust me!
I have so many favourite moments but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the ceremony. I loved that we were able to say our own vows and that it was so personal to us. It was made more perfect that all of our family and friends were together in one space and the moment we became husband and wife was the happiest I’ve ever felt in my whole life. Secondary to that would have to be the moment Andy threw himself at his best man, James, when Time of Our Lives (Dirty Dancing) came on. They both flew backwards, into a table and ended up covered in red wine. Andy got up the next morning and said “where did all of this wine come from?” He was mortified when I told him!
Andy surprised me with a trip to America for our honeymoon. We flew to Washington and once on the plane Andy told me what we would be doing. I cried when he started telling me that we would be transferring from Washington to San Francisco then renting an RV to drive around California and back up the coast. Andy arranged everything perfectly and I’m so grateful to him!
Our advice to other couples would be don’t dwell too much on the materialistic things. Sometimes things don’t work out how you imagine them to and it’s not the end of the world. Of course there are bound to be problems along the way, but for us it all came down to family. All we wanted was to be surrounded by the ones we love the most and to make sure that everyone had as much of a good time as we did. Planning our wedding has taught us to think about the bigger picture and to try not to get carried away with things that really don’t matter that much in hindsight. Our parents and families helped us every step of the way during our wedding planning and we are still completely overwhelmed with how amazing these people are. We will never forget their generosity and kindness.
June 10th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I love couples that think outside the box, so when I saw Will and Stacey’s quirky Save the Date video I just knew the wedding would be equally impressive and individual – and I wasn’t wrong.
A traditional church wedding was followed by a fabulous reception at the picturesque Easby Hall in North Yorkshire.
Both Will and Stacey put a lot of thought into the day to include personal touches in honour of friends and family, both past and present.
The stylish couple paid particular attention to their wedding attire with Stacey having a vintage-style bespoke dress designed and made by the hugely talented Kate Beaumont. Meanwhile, dapper Will shunned a traditional Prince Edward suit or top and tails in place of a brown Hugo Boss suit, complete with tweed waistcoat, pocket watch and purple socks.
With images by Chris Booth and Claire Collinson.
Will says: We got engaged while we were travelling in Latin America – Argentinian Patagonia to be more precise. I obviously didn’t have ring in South America, however I did have one in mind.
Before my Mum died in 2010 she asked me to use my paternal Grandmother’s engagement ring. My middle name is Howel – the name of my paternal grandfather – so my Mum thought it would be nice for another Howel to propose with it. When we returned to the UK in 2012 we got the ring-resized and tidied up, using Werk in York.
Our wedding date was September 21st 2013. We wanted either an autumn or spring wedding and didn’t want to wait until spring 2014. We also had to make sure the date didn’t clash with my siblings’ weddings – my brother David got married in June 2013 and my sister Mary got married August 2013.
We got married in St Agatha’s Church, Easby, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, and had the reception at Easby Hall – a very short walk from the church. We wanted a small wedding of 50 to 60 guests and Easby was the perfect size. We also loved having such a beautiful church right next door. It was also only 15 minutes away from Barnard Castle, where Stacey’s family live and where we both went to school. Easby Hall had never hosted a wedding before – we were the first after they got planning permission, which they only received three months before our wedding. This meant we had to essentially plan the wedding in three months but it also meant the hall was free on the date we wanted it.
Easby also had a sentimental connection as Easby Abbey and St Agatha’s church was one of the last places my Mum visited before she passed away.
May 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Back at your desk and recovering from the long weekend? I hope it was an epic one! If you enjoyed a tech detox over the holiday, don’t despair – we didn’t! Make sure to check out yesterday’s fashion eye candy before getting stuck into today’s beautiful Real Wedding.
Emily and Cyrus’s stunning, Gatsby inspired celebration at Oulton Hall in Leeds is glossy, golden and gorgeous. Just the thing to pep up your blue Tuesday. Enjoy!
Images by Paul Joseph Photography.
Emily says: Cyrus proposed on 2nd September 2012, the day we arrived home from a trip to New York. I think he lost the bottle in New York!
I actually thought he was joking as I thought if he’d planned on proposing why wouldn’t he have proposed in New York so as you can imagine it didn’t go quite to plan. It wasn’t until he pulled out my Grandma’s wedding ring that I realized he was serious and of course I was overwhelmed with emotion and said yes!
We were married on 27th December 2013, we wanted a winter wedding as it’s a magical time of year however we didn’t want a Christmas themed wedding.
Our wedding was at Oulton Hall in Rothwell, Leeds. We fell in love with the period features but loved how they had decorated it in a contemporary style. We also liked the idea of having two separate locations for day and night (our ceremony was in the old, listed part of the building and our evening reception was in the golf club).
We tried to take inspiration from the 1920s, art deco era and chose a colour scheme of black, ivory and gold. We wanted it to feel like a party from The Great Gatsby!
I chose a laced, low back a line dress which had pearl beading draping at the back. I also had a handmade silk cathedral veil with pearls to match my dress made by Marie Flanagan.
Cyrus had a custom made suit by Owen Scott which incorporated his love for basketball. I think his suit jacket got more attention than my dress!
The adult bridesmaids wore black evening gowns from Mango, the teenager girls wore a shorter version of this dress and the flower girls wore ivory dresses from Monsoon. The groomsmen wore black tie hired from Owen Scott.
I am known by family and friends to always have a house full of orchid plants so there was no choice as to what flowers I would be walking down the aisle with. I chose to have a waterfall bouquet of white orchids, this also carried the family tradition on as my mum and grandma had this style of bouquet at their weddings. My florist Janine at Greenhouse Florist also managed to incorporate some material from my mum’s wedding dress into the bouquet handle too.
I remember the look on Cyrus’s face as I entered the room, the emotion was overwhelming (we’ve been together since we were eighteen…12 years)!
We have nothing but praise for our photographers Paul and Kelly of Paul Joseph Photography. We loved their style of photography and knew we wanted our wedding to be told like a story which they managed to do so well.
We met up on a hot day in July 2013 for our ‘Love Shoot’ where they managed to capture the most amazing sunset photos and from that point we knew that Paul and Kelly had an amazing eye for detail. This was proven in our wedding pictures… I loved how they captured every emotion throughout the day.
I personally think your wedding pictures should be one of your main priorities when planning your wedding. When you look back in years to come you should still be able to feel the emotion you felt at that exact point. Paul and Kelly achieved this perfectly.
We chose a tall two tier cake. The bottom tier was chocolate cake covered in white chocolate and painted gold and the top tier was red velvet covered with white fondant. It also had white orchids positioned around it too.
We lost both my Grandma and Aunty to cancer so we made a donation to Kirkwood Hospice in lieu of a favour and asked everybody to wear the pin broaches in remembrance of them. I also chose to frame my parents and grandparents wedding pictures and display them with the cake.
Music was one of our main priorities, luckily we have friends who are professional musicians so as a favour they helped out on the big day.
Thabo Mkwananzi sang Corrine Bailey Rae’s version of Bob Marley’s ‘is this love’ accompanied by Stephen Simpson on keys as I walked down the aisle. They also played lots of our favourite songs during cocktail hour and got our friends and family involved in singing along.
In the evening we had hired a vocalist Louise Golbey and her band who made sure everyone was up on their feet. After the band finished their set we then chose to have a DJ (Sean Marks) play out for the rest of the night, he made sure no one was sitting down!
For our honeymoon we stayed at the El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya, Mexico for two weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff! Remember what the day is actually about, never lose sight of that and you will enjoy every moment!
Congratulations Emily & Cyrus!
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April 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Who said pretty pastels couldn’t come with a huge dose of glamour? Today’s real bride Hayley and new husband Stephen are ripping up the rule book with their soft and stylish Real Wedding at Rockliffe Hall.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Lee Scullion.
Hayley says: We got engaged at the Burj al Arab, Dubai in February 2006. Steven proposed on Christmas day in 2005. We didn’t want a party so we celebrated our engagement with a trip Dubai to pick a ring.
We were married on 22nd September 2013 at Rockliffe Hall, Darlington. I wanted a classy and timeless wedding and Rockliffe offers modern and old mixed together. We had our ceremony in the old arches which offered a nicer feel than just a function room. The colour scheme is quite neutral which enabled us to go for any colour scheme we wanted.
We had lilacs, lavenders, ivories and a beautiful thistle colour in our stationery. Grey suits for the gents, accented with lilac cravats and handkerchiefs to give a subtle bit of colour to blend in with the rest of the wedding. My dress and the bridesmaids were all ivory. I wanted a neutral palette with the flowers taking centre stage.
My dress was from Solutions Bridal Designer House in Orlando Florida. The dress was antique ivory with ivory lace in a mermaid strapless fit. I opted for a very long veil trimmed in the same lace as the dress and a very glamorous belt made by Maria Elena and Manolo Blanik shoes with a beautiful vintage brooch on the front.
The hair was prepped by myself the evening before (I’m am a hairstylist) ready for my friend Carol-Anne Jenkinson who is the owner of Platinum Hair Design in Sunderland. She also did her magic on the bridal party. I had my makeup done by Amanda Bell Elite Makeup Artist.
Our flowers were by Adam Prest who is very unique in his work and knew exactly what I wanted. My bouquet consisted of a vibrant lilac roses, astrania, astilbe,clematis,snowberries and sweetpeas. They smelt beautiful. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of my flowers with a mix for the top table and centre pieces for the tables at the wedding breakfast. We also had similar mixture for the gents’ button holes and ladies’ corsages.
We had six bridesmaids from two years old to sixteen. The younger bridesmaids wore dresses from Monsoon and the two older bridesmaids wore a dress from Coast which was from the bridal range. I think they blended nicely together.
The groomsmen wore hired suits from Gavin Scott Menswear in Washington. The grooms suit was made by Ian Bone a visiting tailor. He came to our home and measured Steven up, we picked the material and and cut of the suit. It was a very professional and friendly service from Ian and we had two more fittings before the finished result.
Our photographer was the amazing Lee Scullion. We had a lot of recommendations from people but as soon as I saw Lee’s work I knew he was the man for the job.
Our videographers were Chris and Janet Hughes for One Digital Image – a great husband and wife team. They made a one minute video summarising the day so we could share with our guests and friends which was really unique in itself and was ready to view the following morning.
Our save the dates and invitations were by Noble Fine Art. They also made our favour boxes, the menu for the tables at the wedding breakfast and the seating plan in a beautiful pearl stock paper with thistle ribbon.
Simply Bows & Chair Covers dressed our tables with a new range of lace chair coverings.
We had handmade chocolates made for the favour boxes from Robineau Patisserie in Darlington and mini bottles of whiskey for the gents.
The cake was from Celebration Cakes in Peterlee, I scaled it down from the original design in the shop. It had six tiers with all different sponges and fruit cake. It had a pearl covering with roses and lace made from sugar paste and tied in with all the little elements from the wedding.
We had Val Boyers singer and guitarist singing during our wedding breakfast and a fantastic local band (Fate) singing live on the evening of the wedding.
Prime Entertainment provided Formula One cars which were very popular and we also hired Snaparazzi and their fabulous photo booth. We got a book of everyone’s photos who had been in the photo booth with a message alongside the photos which is a really nice and different keep sake.
I downloaded an app called Wedpics and invited all our guests to upload all their photos. I thought this to be better than having disposable cameras and it worked well.
Honeymoon wise, we’re are still working on that one, we want something different!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy and take every moment in because it goes over far too fast and don’t drink to much Champagne!
Congratulations Hayley & Stephen!
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February 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
1. Effie Dress, £169; 2. Dallas Dress, £109; 3. Ava Dress £99; 4. Ania Dress, £139; 5. Crissy Dress, £119; 6. Evina Dress, £179; 7. Beatrice Dress, £139; 8. Bonnie Dress, £89; 9. Lyra Dress, £139; 10. Lainie Maxi, £179; 11. Lorena Maxi, £119; 12. Lyra Maxi, £179.
You know we’re not adverse to a bit of high street browsing here at Brides Up North HQ in our quest to uncover the prettiest bridesmaid offerings and bridal accoutrements out there – in boutiques, online and by pounding the pavement. It’s a hard job… yaddah yaddah yaddah.
This afternoon, step forward Monsoon, with their tonal selection of pretty gowns in a wash of muted red, white and blue. Given our recent weather, Monsoon may not be the best named retailer on the block, but in terms of bridal party offerings, it’s as good as a day on the beach.
This is not a sponsored post
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