June 28th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Jenna and Andrew light up the lens with their mega-watt grins and serve as a reminder as to what this whole getting-married business is all about.
Their rustic barn venue in East Yorkshire needed little decoration but fresh blooms, bunting and spray-painted tin cans created just the right balance between simplicity and charm. There was also a nod to earthy tones with their mustard yellow, sage green, copper and white colour scheme, and Jenna’s down-to-earth crocheted Maggie Sottero gown was perfect for this effortlessly elegant day.
With photography by Victoria Baker Weddings.
jenna says: We got engaged at home – and it was a total surprise. I’d been out for dinner with some work friends and Andrew was supposed to be picking me up afterwards. He later said that he wasn’t feeling well and I got a taxi back home instead.
I arrived home to a note on the front door with instructions. Once inside the house, I was greeted with beautifully lit candles and a video he‘d recorded on his phone which set me off on a treasure hunt – at this point, Andrew was nowhere to be seen. It started with clues about the place we first met and moved onto several special memories we’d shared together. There were about ten clues in total, all leading me to the final clue, stuck to our laptop. The clue asked me to Google the Michelin star restaurant The Black Swan in Olstead, pick my favourite dish from their menu and then look for a file saved on the laptop with the same name as the dish. I found it: scallops – he’d guessed in advance the dish that I would pick! I opened the file and it was the most amazing video made up of pictures of us and captions. The last caption said “and so there is something I wanted to ask….” I turned around and there he was, down on one knee – eek! We downed a bottle of champagne while ringing around the family. The next night we ate at the restaurant and had a taster menu that included the dish!
I must add that Andrew was a true gent and asked for my dad’s permission beforehand. He even Facetimed my mum in India for her permission, too!
We were married on 8th October 2016. Autumn is our favourite time of the year. The beginning of October was just perfect for us – it’s when leaves start turning, and dropping but there is still enough light in the day and if you drop lucky (like we did) and the sun comes out, it’s still warm enough to be outside.
Our venue was Barmbyfield Barn, Barmby Moor, where we had both our ceremony and reception. We were keen on a barn wedding but, living in Leeds, we struggled to find anywhere big enough locally. All it took was one visit to Barmby and we both knew we wanted to get married there. I didn’t even need to persuade Andrew, which is unusual! The venue is so beautiful, rustic and well-kept and the owner, Paul, was a pleasure to deal with.
We didn’t have a theme or style, however we wanted to make sure all our decorations were in keeping with the look and feel of the barn. We also wanted the day to reflect how we are and the things we like, and therefore be informal and relaxed. Decor-wise, though, I’m mad on exposed brick and so it really didn’t need much work.
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme – although we wanted it to feel autumnal, we weren’t going for gimmicky. We stuck to natural, earthy tones using lots of whites and hessian, as well as coppers, sage greens and mustard yellows.
My dress was called Trudy, by Maggie Sottero. I’d initially seen it online and luckily found it in my local bridal shop in Leeds centre, Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. It was the nicest dress I’d seen or tried on and happened to be the cheapest, which was a bonus. It was full length, crocheted lace in ivory with capped sleeves and button down back. I chose a champagne colour cami slip to go underneath to soften the ivory.
Andrew wore a navy blue three-piece suit from Moss Bros, paired with white shirt, blush tie and brown shoes and the groomsmen wore the same as Andrew.
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May 9th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re contemplating an autumn date for your special day, then this afternoon’s real wedding will have you falling head over heels for this beautiful time of the year. Think rich jewelled tones, café au lait dahlias and a picture-perfect sunset, and you’ll get a fair idea of what to expect.
Our couple, Catherine and Frazer, tied the knot at Whirlowbrook Hall, a gorgeous manor house set within 39 acres of landscaped gardens. Plumping for a navy blue and pewter colour scheme, their elegant vintage-inspired theme works beautifully with the venue’s classic backdrop.
As you’ll see, there are so many Pinterest-worthy highlights from their special day – the stunning four-tiered cake (complete with edible sequins) is a favourite, and I just love the bride’s statement blue shoes!
With images by Mylo Photography
catherine says: We got engaged on our seven-year anniversary, at home, on 27th December 2014, on what was a lovely crisp wintery morning. I had been dropping not so subtle hints about getting married for about a year but Frazer kept saying I’d have to wait and see as our anniversary was coming up.
The day dawned and he made me breakfast. He called me through for my sausage sandwich. I put the ketchup on and flipped the top slice of bread onto the sandwich. Neatly carved into the bread was “will you marry me?”. I think I actually said, “Oh go on then!”. Because of the snow we were unable to visit our families to share the good news for about a week!
We got married on 16th October 2016. We always knew we wanted an autumn wedding, as we love autumnal colours. Plus a sunny autumn day can be so beautiful. As it turned out, it rained heavily until about an hour before the ceremony and then stayed sunny and dry. We got some fabulous photos with the autumn sunset too.
We hosted our ceremony and reception at Whirlowbrook Hall in Sheffield. We hadn’t intended to go and see Whirlowbrook, as my sister had always wanted to get married there and I didn’t want to copy. We had gone to two wedding fairs nearby, and heard that Whirlowbrook was also holding one. We thought we’d go and see the suppliers rather than the venue, but as soon as we walked in, we knew we’d get married there! The atmosphere was so special, the staff were friendly and attentive, and the Hall and grounds are stunning. We also liked the fact that we’d get exclusive use of the venue for the day, and it was small enough to be intimate, yet still had enough space for everyone.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but we went for an autumnal vintage elegance feel. Hopefully we captured the richness of the season and matched the grandeur of the hall with classic decorations, but still managed to do things a bit differently.
We opted for a navy blue and pewter/silver colour scheme. We wanted jewel tones for that rich autumnal feel and settled on navy as a colour which would be easy to co-ordinate. We didn’t want bright silver so settled on a darker more antique silver/pewter for our metallic accents. We also incorporated cream and ivory to lighten the overall look.
I got my dress – the Alfred Angelo 216 Cinderella gown – in a sample sale. I knew I wanted a mermaid/fishtail style, but something a bit different. As soon as I put the dress on, I knew it was ‘the one’. My seamstress, Bride by Katie-Lou Designs, handmade a bolero and matched the lace to the detail on the bodice of the dress, it was perfect! I also wore a long one-tier veil.
My lovely bridesmaid Adele let me wear her antique pearl necklace as my something borrowed. Pearl is also my birthstone, which tied in nicely.
I chose bright blue Irregular Choice shoes for a pop of colour, they were fabulous and I got so many compliments.
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April 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is a stunner, with plenty of personal details in the planning. The beautiful bride tried on her dress for the first time in her mum’s bedroom, ordered her bouquet from the florist where she had a Saturday job as a teenager and incorporated lots of wood as a nod to Jay’s work as a carpenter.
Aiming for modern timelessness? Look no further than Rachael’s chiffon beaded Monsoon gown. Love neutrals? This subtle grey and lilac colour scheme is elegant, modern and fresh. Rachael gives us all the pretty details…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.
rachael says: We got engaged on 21st June 2012 – I was visiting Jay in London where he was working for the weekend. He’d booked a sunset champagne ride on the London Eye where he planned to pop the question, but somebody else in the pod proposed to his partner and stole Jay’s thunder! He ended up proposing at the Oxo Tower restaurant where we ate later.
We were married on 2nd October 2016. We booked the wedding almost a year to the day beforehand – we sat outside with a glass of wine on an unusually warm day in October 2015, and hoped the weather would repeat itself a year later. It did!
We had our civil ceremony and reception at Peak Edge Hotel at The Red Lion in Derbyshire. I had seen the venue’s lovely website and brochure when we first got engaged, but didn’t go to see it until we got around to planning in 2015. The venue is gorgeous – a country pub meets luxury hotel. It’s modern and fresh, the wedding team and all the staff were lovely and it just felt perfect for us. We were really keen to have the whole day in one place and the venue allowed us to do exactly that.
We didn’t really plan to have a theme, however lots of wood crept into the day. I made our invitations and they featured a woodgrain design and our centrepieces were decorated logs. Jay is a carpenter so that was quite nice, really! We decided to name our tables after superheroes – Jay is a big kid at heart (and my hero!), and I spray-painted little superhero figures to sit on each centrepiece. Jay’s mum, Tina, helped us to turn them into gorgeous features with her creative flair.
The colour-scheme was all a bit grey! Our home is decorated very neutrally and neither of us are fans of bold colours. We chose lavender and lilac as accompanying colours for ties, flowers etc.
I loved my dress! It was a long, chiffon beaded dress and was from the high street – Monsoon, in fact. I went to lots of local boutiques and loved the experience but didn’t find any dresses I really loved. I wanted something that was definitely a wedding dress, but a simple shape, without much of a train. I saw this one online, ordered it and took it round to my mum’s to try on in her bedroom! The shopping experience was a little different (no bucks fizz!), but when I tried it on, I absolutely loved it.
April 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
We’re easing you back into the four day week by featuring the beautiful big day of Danni and Rich, who tied the knot last November after more than six years together.
They exchanged vows in their parish church in Melbourne, Derbyshire, and then celebrated at one of their favourite local venues, Amalfi White – a stunning restaurant and cocktail bar complete with a contemporary ballroom.
We just love the couple’s special touches throughout the day, which included a nod to their love of books, and also lots of glorious sweet treats in the form of a dessert table.
Wih images from Ragdoll Photography
danni says: Rich had a ring, ready to propose for a while, so when we booked a last-minute trip to Rome in June 2015, he decided to pop the question, which was incredible! We’ve been together for over six years (four-and-a-half when he proposed) so we’ve always talked about it, but it still took me by complete surprise. I’d always said please, please do not propose in front of anyone, so he tried a few times in various super romantic locations but every time he was about to get down on one knee (unbeknown to me) a crowd of people would come along. In the end, he proposed in our hotel room at the end of a perfect evening. I was in my pyjamas but immediately after saying yes got dressed and we went out for champagne.
We got married on 25th November 2016, which has always been a special time of the year for us. Our first date was on 22nd November 2010 and Rich’s mum’s birthday, who sadly passed away ten years ago, would have been on 27th November. So, this date was a way to honour Rich’s ,um.
We tied the knot in Melbourne, Derbyshire, which is the village we live in. We got married at Melbourne Parish Church. Angela, the vicar, is amazing (she was extremely patient with me when I sobbed my way through our vows) and we were so glad that it was her who married us.
Our reception was at The Ballroom at Amalfi White. It’s where we celebrated buying our first home and is literally our local as it’s along the road. We wanted a very relaxed day full of lovely food and drinks and our favourite people so it felt perfect to be somewhere we loved and where we would feel comfortable.
We didn’t have a particular theme. Overall, we just wanted it to be relaxed with great lighting so that it felt atmospheric and romantic. The combination of chandeliers on dimmers, light-up ‘love’ letters and candles as table centre pieces looked beautiful together.
We knew we wanted to entwine our love of books into the day and do this in a subtle way. Our table names were Minas Tirith, Hogwarts and The Shire (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter references) and we had quotes from F Scott Fitzgerald (our new surname is Fitzgerald) dotted around.
We’re also Christmas fanatics, so Amalfi White put the Christmas decorations up and we had some of our favourite Christmas songs on our playlist in the evening.
There was no particular colour scheme. I don’t like anything to be ‘matchy matchy’ so all of the bridesmaids wore different dresses in complementing shades and we kept decorations soft and neutral. We used burgundy ribbons in the flowers and burgundy ties and pocket squares to give a bit of depth and winter warmth to the neutral colour palette.
April 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is all about the magic of Disney – the enchanting Beauty and the Beast to be more precise.
Our couple, Sarah and Stevie, decided on a nod or three to their favourite family movie, with the film’s much-coveted teapot, clock and candlestick all making an appearance on their special day. Combine this with a few unconventional twists – such as serving popcorn and swapping a traditional wedding breakfast for a rooftop barbecue – and we think this is an informal take on wedded bliss at its best.
With images by Claire Basiuk.
sarah says: We got engaged on 15th September 2015, while in Tenerife. We were on the second night of a family holiday, staying in a lovely hotel at the top a hill. Stevie was calling our daughter Sophia over to the terrace to have a picture taken against the sunset. Sophia, however, was more interested in going dancing, so was reluctant. I eventually talked her over where Stevie then picked her up, got down on one knee and asked to marry me. My reaction was “are you being serious?” – anyone that knows us will know why; we had been together nearly 11 years, already had a beautiful two-year-old little girl and marriage had never been on the table. I’d even been discussing how I would never get married on a hen do only two days before! My answer was, of course, yes and I will never forget that beaming smile on Sophia’s face, it was as if she knew what it all meant. The evening was then spent dancing!
Our wedding date was 18th September 2016. I loved the idea of having a September wedding (maybe as my mum and dad got married then) and 18 is actually my lucky number so this worked out perfectly. We weren’t bothered about whether we did it one or two years after we got engaged but looking back now, it was lovely that it was almost a year to the day.
We wanted a venue that could accommodate both the ceremony and reception and chose Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We had always wanted a venue that had something a bit different and had loved the idea of a barn style venue. I realised though that my main concern was guests being able to easily get to the venue, and barn style venues don’t really offer that.
We were looking for a relaxed and informal feel to our wedding day and Great John Street offered this. It was different to any other wedding venue we had visited, and we just loved the quirkiness, the décor, all the separate areas that guests could relax in and, of course, the roof terrace with city centre views.
From the outset, we both agreed that we wanted to do our wedding a little differently, as neither of us like being the centre of attention. For us, it was all about celebrating with our friends and family, so we exchanged our vows later in the day, and decided not to have a formal wedding breakfast with speeches. Instead we opted for a barbecue on the rooftop where the guests could choose what food they ate and where they sat. This allowed us to mix with everybody. There was no pressure on Stevie, my dad or the best man to give a speech, this was entirely their choice, and they did this in the early evening with everyone on the roof terrace.
I wanted to be a bit creative with the decoration aspect of the wedding, as opposed to having just a colour scheme. We have a love for Disney and chose a Beauty and the Beast theme. This is my favourite Disney movie; it was the first film song Sophia sang and danced to and it has become Stevie’s favourite, too. We also thought that Tale as Old as Time had quite a good meaning for us, having been together so long. We realised this could easily become cheesy but I wanted to incorporate classy and elegant details from the film. A lot of the decorations and flowers featured those classic Beauty and the Beast colours of blue, gold and red.
March 27th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Clitheroe venue Eaves Hall was the perfect choice for today’s discerning couple, offering them exclusive use of its magnificent Georgian mansion and the stunning Ribble Valley as a backdrop to their big day.
Everything about this wedding speaks of elegance, from the all-cream blooms to the classy navy and gold colour palette. The bride wows in her backless lace Serenity dress and her vision of candelabras, greenery and lights is a lesson in chic venue-dressing.
However, there are also lots of light-hearted touches, from cake-pop penguins holding hockey sticks to pay homage to the groom’s hobby, to Little Mermaid shoe laces for Ariel fan Kerry.
With images by Gemma McAuley Photography
kerry says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2013 at home; it was just perfect. Christmas is such a special time of year for us both and it was our daughter’s first, which made it even more wonderful. Wesley said he wanted to give me an early Christmas present and I was adamant I wanted to keep them all a surprise. However, he pulled out a ring box and asked me to marry him with our little girl there. It simply couldn’t have been more perfect. We celebrated with the family that night and toasted the future together.
Our wedding date was Saturday 13th February 2016. We didn’t plan to get married on Valentine’s weekend. We saw the venue, loved it, visited again on a wedding open day and they had the date available so we booked it.
We were married at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. Both the ceremony and the reception were held there. Wesley and I first saw it online and we both loved it immediately. I knew it was where I wanted but also knew it was booked up well in advance. We went to view it in May 2015 and the amazing wedding coordinators mentioned that they had a date free and so we secured it with a deposit there and then. We also hired the lodge the night before so all the bridal party could stay together and we celebrated together as we prepared for our big day.
Our wedding colour scheme was navy, cream and gold. We wanted a simple colour scheme as it was a winter wedding and we didn’t want anything too fussy.
I chose a Sincerity fitted, backless lace dress from Lulu Browns Bridal Boutique in Whalley. It was the first dress I saw online and, even though I’d visited a few bridal boutiques and tried on lots of different styles, I hadn’t found one that came close. When I visited Lulu Browns I saw it hanging up and I knew that it was the one. Then I tried it and it was perfect!
My wedding shoes were decorated by one of my friends. Anyone who knows me knows my favourite thing in the world is The Little Mermaid and my friend put crystals all over my wedding converse and added Little Mermaid laces. It was such a lovely surprise and I hope she knows how much I loved the gesture!
Wesley had also given my bridesmaids a present for me on the morning of the wedding. It was a Pandora charm locket that said ‘to my beautiful wife, forever and always’.
My wedding make up was just stunning and the make-up artists were from Mystique Nails and Beauty in Oswaldtwistle. I would recommend them to any bride planning a wedding as they were experienced, professional and did exactly what I wanted.
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