June 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning I’ve done something that when gave up the corporate rat race to be come a full time wedding blogger (you can read my story here) I thought that I would do all the time, but in the reality of deadlines, features schedules, event planning and all the time consuming minutiae of running a busy small business – never do. Ladies, I’ve done a Carrie Bradshaw (albeit in Kurt Geiger rather than Manolo Blahnik) and decamped from Brides Up North HQ to my local coffee hot spot.
Sometimes you have to shake off the four walls of normality and mix things up a little to refuel your creativity. Writers block? What writers block (a homemade raspberry muffin and a vat of coffee later)?!
Inevitably, with change comes challenge, and a challenging Wi-Fi connection means that today’s Real Wedding feature comes to you a little later than planned, but (like the raspberry muffin!) the wait was totally worth it.
Clare and Philip’s wedding is contemporary (whilst still remaining a classic), stylish and cool, and any bride who nips out of her own reception for a quick drink with her girls gets serious kudos from me…
Images by Samuel Docker.
Clare says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2009. It was a complete surprise. Our tradition is to go for a meal on Christmas Eve before going out and that year Phil told me to drive to The Hilton in Sheffield. When we got there he had booked a room, he said he thought it would be different. In the room were candles and my Christmas presents. He then told me to close my eyes and he put a t shirt on me over my dress. I thought it was a band t shirt and my gift was tickets to a gig. He took me to the mirror and he’d drawn a design on the t shirt which read the right way to me and it said “I love you with all my heart will you marry me?” He was then next to me with a gorgeous ring.
I obviously said yes and was thrilled to bits!
We were married on 31st August 2013 at Sheffield City Hall.
Phil actually found the venue, he liked it because of the detail of the building and the grandeur feeling inside. He had also played there a few years before so had a personal meaning to him.
When I was looking at the website for the City Hall I noticed that there was a competition to win the venue for your wedding, so I entered never expecting to win and I did!
I didn’t mention that I’d entered to Phil because I thought it would be a nice surprise if i did win but probably wouldn’t so wasn’t worth getting our hopes up. Well a letter arrived in the post and I had only gone and won the venue of our wedding! We were ecstatic and the Sheffield City Hall were brilliant throughout and really on board with what we wanted to do.
We didn’t need to travel far on the day, my Dad drove me to the City Hall where I spent the morning getting ready with my bridesmaids and Mum. Phil got ready at the Leopold Hotel just a two minute walk from the City Hall so he and his best man walked there!
The theme of our day was soft, elegant and simple and we wanted guests to have a very romantic feel to the day with lots of candlelight. The evening reception theme was a surprise to everyone, only ourselves and parents knew about it: “Wedstock”.
Creams and whites were the main colours to give a soft romantic feel. The spindle back chairs were brushed vintage white and most of the table details were cream and white with pearl detail. The bridesmaids wore navy and the groom and groomsmen wore navy ties with grey suits.
I’m not a fussy dress kind of person so I wanted something elegant and simple. My dress was from Blissful Daze in Sheffield, it was one of the first bridal shops we tried and originally I picked the dress up because of the detail on the shoulders but that was all, but once it was on it felt perfect. It’s by Ellis Bridals. It has jewel embellishment on the hip and shoulders, a cowl back and button detail down the back.
I wore peep toe heels with a jewelled detail. I’m fairly tall for a girl but definitely wanted heels for the big day which was fine when I stood next to Phil but my poor Dad looks a little short!
We searched for some time for jewellery as I wanted understated jewellery but something that went with the detail on the dress. By chance we found the bracelet, earrings and hair piece in Debenhams and they went so well with the dress we immediately stopped looking for anything else.
I also carried with me a sixpence that my Grandad gave to me before the wedding, he said my Nanan had been saving it for my wedding day but sadly she is no longer with us so it was important to have that with me. The freesia flowers were also a symbol of my Nanan as they were one of her favourite flowers.
Philip wore a Ted Baker suit. He was very picky and his suit took longer to pick than my dress!
I carried cream and white roses, veronicas, eustomia, white freesia and gypsophila by Janice Johnson Vintage Floral Design.
Samuel Docker was our photographer – a great photographer and a genuinely nice man!
Phil is a big metal music fan and we both love festivals so we wanted to inject some of our personality and fun to the day. Everyone was in the bar area and when the ballroom was opened for the evening reception, staff handed out lanyards similar to those at a festival complete with map and set list. In the ballroom was a gazebo Photo Booth, a signing tent with artificial grass, vinyls to sign along with guest book, there was a tattoo inspired sweet table made by Phil’s parents, a guitar case displayed for cards and gifts and tents dotted around for people to go in, there was also a chill out area called the rescue room with lanterns where the evening buffet was served.
Unexpectedly to the crowd a band called Our Friends Electric then took to the stage. The band had Phil’s friends in it who have gigged a few times together and he was on lead guitar. They played cover tracks old and new and everyone was dancing and having a good time. By this time sunglasses were everywhere and we threw glow sticks into the crowd so it had a real festival feel. This was really special as Phil’s grandparents had never seen him play live before so was a really nice moment.
I’d been hearing Phil practice for weeks in the spare room and knew most of the songs but it was a lovely surprise when he got down from the stage to dance with me as the band played “My Girl”, me in my dress and Phil in his black flag t shirt!
I always said I wanted my mum to make my wedding cake. As I’ve grown up I’ve really enjoyed baking cupcakes, so me and my Mum made the cake two days before the wedding. It sounds stressful but it was a really nice to take some time out doing something we both enjoy together.
The cake was six tiers of cream topped cupcakes with brushed pearls and glitter on top with a fruit cake top tier made by my mum. We wanted something simple but elegant.
I think the whole evening reception was one big special touch for us, because we and our parents had made everything it felt extra special. We were excited that our family and friends had no idea about it and that the response to it was overwhelming,everyone loved it.
During the day the small touches made all the difference like the music sheet confetti cones we gave out, rose petals on the aisle, having our favourite film scores playing at the wedding breakfast, walking down the aisle to the instrumental ‘Inhale’ by Killswitch Engage: one of Phil’s favourite bands.
Other highlights include confetti cannons going off as we danced with our friends for the second dance and my brother’s poem reading during the ceremony.
The most random but also fun part of the day was when myself and the bridesmaids left the wedding for about 20 minutes in the evening for a cheeky shot. I’d joked to my friend before that it would be funny to leave the wedding and nip up busy Division Street to have a cheeky drink at The Frog & Parrot one of our go to places. Well she made this happen! Very random and very funny as we sat in a booth for a quick one with people gazing with puzzled faces and then ran back to the City Hall without too many people noticing. That’s why I love my friends!
The honeymoon was a complete surprise to me. On the morning of the wedding Phil had delivered a rucksack with a letter explaining the bag contained clues of our honeymoon destination. This included flip flops, sun cream, a Mickey Mouse top, a french baguette plus much more.
During the speeches Phil had four of my bridesmaids stand up and announce where we were going. We went to London, Paris and Disneyland and then onto Ibiza. It was pretty jam packed but the perfect honeymoon for us.
Someone told me to take a few moments to yourself throughout the day at different times just to take in what’s happening. I definitely did this, just a pause here and there and it really helps you absorb it all and gives you an extra smile. But my biggest tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy it, we obviously both felt nervous before the big day but that was mainly because of the evening plans not the actual marriage. On the morning of the day all my tummy flutters disappeared and I just couldn’t stop smiling all day
Congratulations Clare & Philip!
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April 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Following the fashion frenzy of the last week (dahlings!), I think it’s about time we got back to basics here at Brides Up North. It’s what we do best – Real Weddings from real Brides Up North and their talented local suppliers. Real, regional and really, really gorgeous. I jolly well hope you’re thinking local for your big day!
This afternoon’s wedding was sent to us by real bride Kirsty and Brides Up North Featured Supplier James Jebson and has all the elements of the best of big days – tons of sparkle, big blooms and lots of laughs.
Kirsty says: We got engaged in October 2012 at Mottram Hall and were married on 14th December 2013 at St Anne’s Church in Woodplumpton by our fabulous village vicar Revd. Brian Whitley, followed by a reception at Beeston Manor in Houghton.
We chose our venue as it just felt very ‘us’. With its countryside setting and manor house feel, Beeston Manor is beautiful. Furthermore the venue was completely private and meant we just shared our day with our family & our guests.
I chose a Mori Lee wedding dress with lace and diamante detail from Dan Kerr Brides. It was a really sparkly dress and I loved it from the moment I put it on. All my jewellery, accessories and my shoes were from Lottie’s Bridal Boutique in Lytham.
Our bridesmaids wore gold dresses by Ronald Joyce, again from Dan Kerr Brides. Wayne and the ushers all wore grey suits, ivory waistcoats and ties to match the girls’ dresses from Moss Bros, and the Mother of the Bride and page boys were dressed by Lottie’s Bridal Boutique – along with the bridesmaids’ fur shrugs.
We travelled in a Range Rovers on the day all dressed by our florist Margaret Mason with ivory ribbons – they looked fantastic.
My bouquet was made of mini Calla Lilies and had diamonds amongst the flowers. It was simply stunning
James Jebson, our photographer, was simply sensational on our wedding day. His attention to detail, his professionalism, & his incredibly infectious personality, accompanied with his awesome photography put him in another league. In the words of my new husband James is ”simply a different kind of gravy” and his photography service was extra special from start to finish.
We were over the moon with our wedding pictures as they capture the best day of our lives from every angle. James didn’t miss a thing and even caught images of moments we had missed! We have the most wonderful memories of our wedding and I cannot stress how important a good photographer is. When your wedding is over your photos are the one thing you have left and I cannot thank James enough for our amazing images. He is simply fabulous!
March 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
So Brides Up North… fancy another beautiful Real Wedding this Monday afternoon? Why ever not!
In today’s second instalment, we’re sticking in the North West for Hannah & Adam’s glorious day at Styal Lodge. Their celebration was full of sparkly touches, lovely lace, Gatsby inspired details, bright florals, big kisses and special designer additions. Just the way we like ‘em.
With images by Susanna Modic.
Hannah says: We got engaged on holiday in Nepal in November 2012 visiting friends. We had just completed a gruelling four day trek in the Himalayas and were relaxing in Pokhara – we took a tiny boat out onto the lake in Pokhara and in the middle of the lake, with no one around, surrounded by the Himalayan mountains Adam pulled out his Grandma’s wedding ring and asked me to marry him.
We were married at Styal Lodge in Cheshire. We were looking at venues close to home and we fell in love with Styal when we went to the open day. The wooden lodge reminded us of holidays in Scotland and it was so big, light and spacious. Plus as it was a blank canvas – we could really do whatever we want with the space. It was important that we could hold the ceremony and the reception in the same building. We had 120 guests so we needed a big space! Styal also has a bridal room which was big enough for me and my four bridesmaids (and my mum!) to get ready in before the ceremony – perfect!
We chose a colour scheme of charcoal grey and dusky pink and opted for a Gatsby theme. We were also lucky enough to have a Christmas tree as it was December but we didn’t want it to be too “Christmas party” – just a nod to the festive season! All the wedding stationery was designed by my younger brother and had a real art deco feel to it.
My dress was from (Brides Up North Featured Supplier) Love Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. Emma (the owner) is a total dream – the experience of buying my dress from Emma was exactly what I thought buying a dress would be like. She gave us brownies and coffee and champagne when I finally chose my dress.
It was quite a traditional dress – lots of lace and a little bit of bling (on the belt!) I was lucky enough to wear my grandma’s fur coat for the outside shots (it was VERY cold in December!) and this was the coat my mum wore on her wedding day so it felt extra special (my something old!) I also wore a bracelet that belonged to my great grandma. My shoes were Vivienne Westwood – my something blue with the big blue bow on them! My “new” was my wedding dress!
I carried a bouquet of dusky pink roses with dark thistles, white gyposphila and black berries by Deila’s Florist.
The groomsmen wore tails – charcoal grey with pinstripe trousers. These came from Moss Bros. We chose a pink cravat to tie in with the theme. The dresses for my bridesmaids were Jenny Packham. They were charcoal grey. I also gave them white shrugs to wear for the photos outside.
My older brother performed the ceremony (he is a chaplain) which made the service really personal and we are so thankful he was able to do that.
The table names were places we had been on holiday – including Pokhara (where we got engaged)!
I wanted to use champagne corks for name places on the tables – every cork we used came from a bottle of ‘fizz’ that we drank in the period between the engagement and the wedding – 117 of them!
Catering was by Top Table Events in Altrincham.
We chose a wedding cake made of cheese from The Cheese Hamlet in Didsbury – who were super helpful with the tasting of the cheese and supplying the correct amount of cheese! We had 1.5kg of cheese in 5 trunkles and it was dressed with fruit. Then in the evening we had a buffet with cold meats and the cheese from the cake – I had also made all the chutneys to go with the cheese. We put out bottles of port for the guests to enjoy.
We also chose to do a cookie table – I had 8 big jars filled with different cookies I had made along with help from my mum, both my sister in laws and one of my bridesmaids. The jars all had labels on them and we put a sign out so people would know what they were. I had grey and white striped bags and cookie tongs so people could take them home if they didn’t want them right then! We had bowls of bonbons and flowers and I also made a one tier fruit cake and decorated it with old jewellery and ribbon. I love baking and this was one of my favourite things!
My favourite part of the day was when my Dad had organised my friends who live out in New Zealand (the couple we had stayed with in Nepal when we got engaged) to be on Skype – it made me cry with happiness when I saw one of my oldest friends, on the other side of the world, 12 hours ahead – with a flute of fizz to say congratulations.
Also – after the ceremony, and the photos and the drinks reception when we were called into dinner (to James Brown – “I Feel Good”) and all the guests stood up clapping and cheering. It felt incredible to feel so loved by all of our friends and family.
In the evening we had “The Gobots” who were incredible. They played a whole range of covers with a really rocky/indie feel. Everyone commented on how good the band were and the dance floor was full all evening.
We flew straight to Copenhagen the day after the wedding. It was so romantic – the Tivoli gardens were all lit up and we spent lots of time walking from the galleries to the museums to the beautiful coffee shops. We were also lucky enough to get a table at Noma (currently number two in the restaurant world!) which was the perfect honeymoon venue!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that if your photographer is taking photos of you getting ready remember to pack something to wear for those photos! You don’t want those moments to be spoilt by jogging bottoms and a vest top. I took a silk dressing gown with me!
Also, remind your groom to turn around when you walk down the aisle. I was super nervous walking down but having Adam’s face to focus on was just amazing.
Congratulations Hannah & Adam!
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March 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Flying by the seat of our skinny jeans this morning to bring you this rather late first instalment of the day! What can I say, this week in the Brides Up North office is Hectic. With that capital H. We’re in the middle of an event sandwich: four beautiful Brides Up North wedding exhibitions over four adjacent weekends, with our biggest show of this season this weekend – but then you know all about that don’t you? Throw in playtime with a (nearly) one year old, an appearance as official blogger at The North West Wedding Fair over in Manchester this Friday (I can’t wait), goody bag stuffing, floor plan drawing, sign writing and a husband who thinks its cool* to head off skiing with his mates during our busiest week yet… and you can see why we’re winging it a little.
*It’s so not cool Alan.
We’re not skimping on the pretty though, because Louisa and John’s gorgeous Real Wedding at the always stunning Adlington Hall in Cheshire has real wow factor! And that, Brides Up North, is exactly what we like around these parts. Enjoy.
With images by Jo Bradbury.
Louisa says: We got engaged on 23 December 2011 at Tatton Park, Knutsford. John got down on one knee by the lake in the pouring rain!
We were married on 8th December 2013 at Adlington Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire. We had a civil ceremony in the Great Hall and the wedding breakfast and reception in the Hunting Lodge.
We wanted to have a venue where we could have a civil service and the wedding breakfast in one place. We were looking for a venue that had a room for the service that was a bit special, particularly given the time of year with the expectation that most of the day would be spent inside. We fell in love with Adlington Hall as soon as we looked round. It had the wow factor whilst still feeling really intimate. An added bonus is that the whole place is exclusively yours for the day and the staff were excellent, very professional but also extremely down to earth.
A lace theme ran through the day, from my dress, to the invitations and table plan, to the detail on our wedding cake. We thought this helped to create a bit of a “winter wonderland” feel.
I wore an Enzoani dress from The Wedding Shop in Alderley Edge with a lace bolero. It was totally different and much bigger than I thought I would go for but I loved it as soon as I tried it on. I also had pair of sparkly Jimmy Choos.
John, his best men and ushers hired navy morning suits from Savoy Tailors Guild (Moss Bros) in Manchester.
December 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime
The classic styling continues this afternoon on these pretty pages with Nicola and Duncan’s stunning celebration at Goldsborough Hall. Nicola added elegant details and a scatter of snowflakes and sparkle to create a beautiful winter’s wedding day.
With images by Yorkshire wedding photographer Damian James Bramley, DJB Photography.com.
Nicola says: Duncan proposed at the top of the York Eye in North Yorkshire in the VIP Cabin on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2012.
We were married on 1st December 2012 at St Mary’s Church, Alne, with our reception at Goldsborough Hall. It’s a truly stunning venue, intimate and royal with fabulous photographic opportunities.
We had a winter wedding with lots of snowflakes and sparkle! I chose a colour palette of white, soft ivory and silver with a hint of vintage green.
I travelled in a 1952 Bentley Freestone and Webb by Superior Motor Cars.
My bridesmaids wore a Vintage Kiwi one shoulder dress made in duchess satin with a Lux Chiffon overlay by Dessy.
Duncan wore Newbury Charcoal Tails with classic stripped trousers, olive diamond waistcoat with silver cravat and hanker-chief by Moss Bros, and our groomsmen and pageboys wore the same with olive accessories.
I carried a natural, quite large loose hand tied bouquet with large creamy winter white roses, white bouvardia, white freesia, creamy white spray roses, green hypericum berries, feathery fountain grass and added winter foliage by Paper White Flowers. Our church flowers were by Hilda Harvey.
When it comes to my favourite moment, its very difficult to pull out one specific part. Walking down the aisle and our first dance and having all your close family and friends around us was fantastic.
We used crooks and ribbon to line the pathways both at the venue and at the church with large floral displays, storm lanterns with flower explosions, lots of candle light, crystal candelabras and topiary hearts with twinkle lights on the red carpet. Inspire Me Designs provided our stationery and It’s A Cover Up did our venue dressing.
Our cake was covered in winter snowflakes with snowdrop beading and was a four tier fruit cake and chocolate sponge with chocolate truffle icing. The layers were alternated with the bottom tier starting with fruit cake by Patisserie Viennoise of Otley.
We honeymooned in Sri Lanka and then onto the Maldives. It was all booked by my ‘husband to be’ as a surprise! I found out the day after our wedding on route to the airport where we were going!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to jot down everything you’ve always dreamed of for your wedding day. I had a day called ‘Wedding Wednesdays’ purely set aside for wedding planning and appointments! Enjoy every moment, add personal touches where you can and try not to make too many compromises. Relax, drink tea and eat cake! Not too many though!
Congratulations Nicola & Duncan!
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December 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime
I’m going to start sharing my prettiest Real Weddings every Tuesday. Spirits lightened, just like that!
This morning we are in Cheshire with Isobel and Gary, sharing in their beautiful and elegant autumn celebration at the glorious Peckforton Castle. A warm colour palette, layers of lace and pearls and a whole lot of love. My kinda wedding.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Phil Drinkwater.
Isobel says: Gary proposed to me at the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge on 6h October 2011. We were both dressed in boiler suits and attached to the bridge. Gary had been in talks with the company for well over a year and they made the proposal seamless, i.e. turning off the metal detector so that the ring wouldn’t show up. I had absolutely no idea!
We got married on Saturday 19th October 2013 – our 4 year anniversary since getting together.
We got married at the Holy Ascension in Upton as it was my family church. My christening was performed there.
We chose Peckforton Castle in Tarporley for many reasons. It’s a grand venue, which creates an impact on arrival, the building and grounds are simply beautiful, with the décor providing a grand yet modern touch and the log fires made it feel like a warm and cosy day even in the middle of October. The professionalism of the staff is second to none, nothing we had experienced at other venues.
Our theme was pearl and lace. We included lace and pearls around the candles which covered the church and the great hall (wedding breakfast venue). We also had pearls dripping from the candelabra centre pieces. Both of my dresses included lace and pearls. The girls were given pearl bracelets around their napkins as one of their favours. Because it was October, we chose a warm aubergine purple as our base colour.
My day dress was purchased from Cheshire Brides in Frodsham, was an ivory, heavy satin, straight cut dress with full body skirt (including pockets!) It included a diamond belt around the middle which fastened at the back in a diamond bow. Ivory and diamond buttons flowed all the way down the back of the dress. I then had a bespoke lace, off the shoulder jacket made, with matching buttons fastening at the back.
When it was time to party, I changed into a lace and pearl fishtail dress with bespoke thin straps over my shoulders from Bespoke Brides in Mollington.
My bridesmaids wore aubergine, one shoulder full length chiffon gowns from Bespoke Brides in Mollington. The groomsmen wore grey tails with matching grey waistcoat and aubergine cravat and handkerchief from Moss Bros.
I carried a hand tied bouquet of Avalanche, Sweet Avalanche, Memory Lane and Cool water roses with flecks of cream Waxflower, Gypsophila and Alma Flora, framed with more Gypsophila from Lavender Blue.
Gary says his favourite moment was the first sight of me coming down the aisle, but for me leaving the church with my new husband was the best feeling ever!
We had a lot of personal touches. On each table there was paper to write the guest’s favourite moments of the bride and groom and guess the speech length betting slips. We also had personalised monopoly money for the poker/roulette tables with a picture of Gary and I at Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Our entertainment was a lot of fun, We had a string quartet for the church and drinks reception (The Endymion String Quartet), singing waiters for the wedding breakfast (Divas Disguised) and poker and roulette tables and sweets tables for the interim after the wedding breakfast by Hipswing Entertainments After the meal we had an Interactive DJ and 5 piece band “The Coolers” for the reception.
We chose a three tier white cake with icing flower petals (with aubergine outer colour) framing the front of the cake. Traditional fruit, chocolate and Baileys and Champagne and strawberries!
After the wedding we honeymooned in Kuala Lumpur, Bali and Dubai.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to stay relaxed and let your day flow.
Congratulations Isobel & Gary!
November 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today’s Real Wedding, sent to me by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Katy Melling Photography and real bride Jenny couldn’t get any lovelier. From the pretty details, outdoor ceremony and relaxed styling to the personal touches throughout, Jenny and Jon’s day has a really happy feel, with family at it’s heart.
I’ve loved sharing in their big day, and I hope that you do too. Be inspired!
Jenny says: We got engaged in Copenhagen – February 2012 – and were married on July 27th 2013 at Guyzance Hall in Northumberland.
We chose the venue as it was only 3 miles from my parents’ village of Warkworth which was important as, although we live in London, I still have a strong pull to the North East (I was brought up in Whitley Bay). We also loved the idea of an outdoor wedding and the opportunity to have the majority of the wedding guests stay in the hall and the surrounding cottages for the weekend. Although the hall itself is grand and elegant, the whole weekend felt intimate and personal which is exactly the feel we wanted.
As the wedding ceremony was going to be outside, we adopted a country garden theme complete with lawn games and a quiz. We opted for a colour theme of peach and blue – I wanted the colours of the wedding to be muted and in the theme of the wedding.
My dress was called Nina (Short) by Stephanie Allin and came from Darcy Weddings in Morpeth. Darcy’s was the first bridal shop I visited and I spotted my dress almost as soon as I walked in. Knowing that I wanted a vintage feel to my dress, as soon as I spotted this 50s style, tea length lace dress, I knew I had found a winner. I tried it on and turned to my mum who said..’You look like your Grandma when she was your age’ – that was it – it was the one!
The bridesmaids wore dresses by Watters – also supplied by Darcy Weddings. They were nude/peach chiffon sleeveless dresses with soft pleating around the neckline, down the centre front of dress and at the waist with covered buttons behind the neck.
The groom and ushers wore the “Lingfield” suit from Moss Bros – a grey suit with tails. The ushers wore a pale blue cravat while Jon wore a cream one.
The music throughout the day was very important to me. I walked down the aisle to ‘Canon in D’ by Pachbel and then chose ‘Magic Moments’ by Perry Como as we signed the register. This was my Nanny’s favourite song so having that as part of the day was very important to me.
My favourite part of the day was saying our vows. Although we opted for a very simple and short ceremony, our registrar was brilliant and really put us at ease – we felt so relaxed and so happy to say the special words.
My bouquet was blue hydrangeas with gypsophila and peach avalanche roses by Fern Flowers. It was a ‘hand picked’ style bouquet which had a relaxed wild flower feel to it. The same flowers were used for the centre pieces for the tables.
As a personal touch I had a little sprig of Lily of the Valley as a reminder of my Grandma – it was her favourite flower.
Straight after the wedding ceremony, we had arranged a quiz. Sheets were handed out and guests had to collect signatures of other guests e.g. Someone who is a doctor, someone who is the parent of twins, someone born in Suffolk, etc. It was great fun and encouraged different groups to family and friends to chat and get to know each other.
The lawn games before and after our Wedding breakfast were great fun – my dad had been collecting them over the previous months and they were so popular on the day – it gave the day a lovely relaxed feel.
We decided to go for a different kind of guest book and had each guest/couple complete a ‘fill the blanks’ style sheet e.g. We have travelled from _______, You should call your children ________ and ___________. They made for very funny reading the next day and we’ve since had them bound into a book which we can pick up from time to time and smile.
The sparkling wine we chose for straight after the ceremony and our speeches was from a vineyard 5 miles from Jon’s parents house in Suffolk. We’ve bought wine from the vineyard before and it was important that we had some Suffolk element to our day.
We had a cheese cake made for us by The Northumberland Cheese Company based at Blagdon Farm, Milkhope. We had three main layers: nutty cheddar, oak smoked cheese and then a blue cheese on top. It was decorated by my mum and Auntie Sheila with figs, grapes and ivy. We also had two handmade mice made for the top by Lynn at Little Mouse Gallery. They were made to look like us; the bride with a lace dress and peach and blue bouquet and the groom with a blue cravat and a blue flower buttonhole
We had a fantastic band called ‘Hip Operation’ – they were a 7-piece band including a saxophone, trumpet and trombone. They really got the party started and created a brilliant atmosphere for the whole evening.
For our honeymoon we went to France. We spent one week in a beautiful little cottage in the Loire Valley (lots of wine tasting and cheese eating) and then a week in Paris.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to try to think of as may ways to personalise your wedding as you can – it’s lovely to hear people comment on those little touches; those are the things you’ll remember the most.
Congratulations Jenny & Jon!
October 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Lets get this pretty party started.
I’ve some absolutely cracking wedding inspiration for you lovely lot this week, starting with this beautiful real wedding with lots of DIY detailing high on the Yorkshire moors, and culminating with our gorgeous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, this Sunday (have you pre-registered for this really very special bridal event? Click here to join the fun). Don’t say we never do anything for you!
So, it’s off to Danby this Monday as we join Helen and Harry for their cute countryside wedding. There’s colour pops and perfect props, all finished off with a hearty serving of Whitby’s finest. Enjoy!
With images by Stott & Atkinson.
Helen says: Harry asked me to marry him in Central Park in New York on 26th June 2012, and we were married on 28th September 2013 at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Stokesley, followed by reception at Danby Castle.
The church was my local church when I was growing up. We looked at several reception venues but Danby Castle just felt right – it’s in a beautiful location, characterful and the staff are amazing.
We chose teal as a base colour and we kept the general feel quite rustic in keeping with the setting.
My wedding dress was a beautiful Pronovias lace fishtail with a bolero which I found in my local wedding shop in Wimbledon (Teokath).
Harry and his groomsmen wore medium grey suits with tails hired from Moss Bros.
My bridesmaids wore teal dresses from In One Clothing in different styles. These worked incredibly well as there was a six months pregnant bridesmaid and a bridesmaid who had given birth three weeks earlier! The flower girl wore a matching teal sash (also from In One Clothing) around a white dress from Monsoon.
I carried a mixture of roses and freesias, with a wild flower feel. The buttonholes were heather based in keeping with the moors.
I travelled in a 1970s VWBeetle called Digby from Lovedub Cars – we didn’t want anything too grand.
We added lots of home made touches to our day.
We made the table name cards using tickets from sporting venues we had been to together with some facts from the matches we attended and little flags with Mr & Mrs R, 28.09.2013 on for the straws in the reception drinks.
My Dad produced lots of twigs so all the guests could play poohsticks after the church ceremony and we had jigsaws made with the menus on to keep the guests entertained whilst they were waiting for the speeches to end…
The amazing food was served up by Danby Castle’s chef Em who produced some incredibly tasty pie and sticky toffee pudding.
We had a DJ for the evening music and an iPod playing a selection of music during the drinks reception. We learnt a foxtrot for our first dance, being big Strictly Come Dancing fans!
After the wedding we honeymooned in Peru – a week by Lake Titicaca followed by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu then a few days in the Amazon rainforest.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that it’s your day – do what makes you happy, and (hopefully!) doing that will make your guests happy.
Congratulations Helen & Harry!
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September 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This afternoon it’s off to Northumberland, to join Sam and Rob for their glorious big day at Dissington Hall. Sam’s Real Wedding was simple and elegant, with romantic red roses popping up on every corner. Bloomin’ beautiful.
With images by Andy Hudson Photography.
Sam says: We first got engaged on 6th July 2012 in Edinburgh where Rob had moved to a month earlier. I got a beautiful diamond solitaire ring but it was too big so had to be resized. I was proposed to again on 13th July with a lovely meal and bottle of bubbly. Then a few months later, we were sitting in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and Rob proposed again! So we got engaged three times!
Our wedding date was Saturday 27th July 2013. We got married at St Michael and All Angels church in Newburn then had our reception at Dissington Hall. We chose the church as it was where my mum and dad got married. We chose Dissington Hall because it’s such a beautiful building and the staff were absolutely fantastic. We couldn’t fault the service we got at Dissington.
We wanted a simple, elegant wedding and chose a colour scheme of ivory and deep red.
I wore a stunning lace, fish tail dress. It was the complete opposite to what I thought I would want but as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one for me. It was from Berketex Bride in Newcastle and was designed by Sasha Perez.
My sister and Rob’s sister were my bridesmaids and wore simple 1950’s style dresses. They were a deep red colour, had cowl backs and were beautiful. They were from the Dessy collection and were bought from Rosina Brown Bridal Boutique in Hexham. Rob, both dads, our best man and groomsmen wore grey morning suits from Moss Bros.
A good friend of mine, Bonnie Shaw is a Soprano so sang whilst we were signing the register. It was beautiful and so many of the guests commented on how fantastic she was. We had a DJ for the disco and it was a company called After Eight Music.
I loved saying my vows. I managed not to cry all the way through but did get a little choked. Saying my vows was the most important part of the day and the part I enjoyed the most. There were so many other special moments… my dad’s speech, Rob’s speech and simply watching everyone having a great time. That meant the world.
I had a posy of Grand Prix red roses and my bridesmaids had smaller posy of ivory Avalanche roses. They were all bound with ivory ribbon and held with diamanté pins. As an extra to mine, my something ‘borrowed’ and ‘blue’ was a blue ring that my dad gave to my mum for her 21st. It was too big for me to wear so our florist Margaret from Foxtail Lily Flowers tied it to the stems of my bouquet. It was a lovely touch.
We had one wedding car to take Mum and the bridesmaids and then Dad and I to church. It was a silver Jaguar S Type from Rickerby Chauffeurs in Newcastle. James, who owns the business, was our chauffeur and he was amazing. We had a red, vintage double decker bus to take the guests, wedding party and Rob and I to the reception!
We haven’t had a honeymoon yet as I moved up to Edinburgh three days after the wedding! We’re saving up and hoping to go to New York in the Spring.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to not forget the reason you’re having a wedding day. It’s very easy to get swept up in the organisation and hype and lose sight of the real reason you’re having a wedding day. There will always be things that don’t go quite according to plan but as long as everyone is happy, that’s the main thing.
Congratulations Sam & Rob!
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August 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Molly & Joel’s big day was full of love, laughter, bloomin’ beautiful florals, dreamy romantic detailing… and a very, very fabulous pair of somethings blue. Be inspired!
Molly says: We got engaged by the River Thames in November 2011, and were married on 25th May 2013 at Waterton Park Hotel in Wakefield.
For the venue, we wanted to be on the water and Waterton Park has a huge lake almost surrounding it and a gorgeous bridge over the lake. The whole place and gardens were so beautiful.
We chose to use all the ‘icecream’ colours, so together it looked very vintage. Creams, duck egg blue, light green, dusky pink and caramels and lots of lace.
My gown was all lace with a sweetheart neckline, again very vintage and I wore it with a birdcage which went perfectly. It was by Justin Alexander and from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, an amazing wedding dress shop. I wore light blue heels from Faith, again very vintage, it was my something blue!
I used Helen Claire for my make up, she was amazing, I loved it.
For the flowers, we used a lady called Tanya Sumner, she was so reasonable and did a fabulous job, exactly what I wanted. I carried a bouquet of sweet avalanche roses.
My bridesmaids all wore different colours, the chief bridesmaid was in light green, then one in duck egg, one in dusky pink, one in caramel and my little girl in ivory like me. They were sweetheart neckline 1960’s dress with lace around the middle, made from scratch as I had an idea in my head and couldn’t find anything anywhere. We had two best men and eight ushers so we divided the colours of the bridesmaids and they had that colour cravat. The suits were hired from Moss Bros.
We had up and coming star Lucy Zirins singing Eva Cassidy’s Songbird while I walked down the aisle, it was just beautiful.
The ceremony was very emotional and beautiful after being together for 17 years!
My photographer Laura Calderwood was simply outstanding. She captured our day perfectly.
For a good year I, my sister, my best friend and my mum collected cups and saucers, jugs, teapots from charity shops and these were all used for the centre pieces. In the reception room I scattered petals across the tables and the sashes on the chairs alternated from lace to ivory.
Along with the china ware that we collected, we also collected sweet jars and I did my own sweet shop. I ordered the sweets online, along with the sweet bags and various other things and with the help of my sister it looked wonderful on the day and everyone loved it.
For my chair covers and sashes which were beautiful I used Cushty Covers, Val the owner was the nicest woman I have ever met!
I hired cake stands for the centre pieces which were filled with flowers from Add Vintage in Leeds,
We chose a four tier cake which was white with ivory iced henna on top so it was made to look like lace. A lady called Zarina Akhtar in Headingley made it, it was stunning and so delicious.
For favours, we had cupcakes in ivory with edible pearls and lace cases by Louise Morgan.
The speeches were brilliant.
For our evening entertainment a DJ was included in the price, we played lots of 80’s music and some 60’s too. Our first dance was to Stand By Me.
After the wedding, we honeymooned in Rivera Maya, Mexico. It was magical.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute because it goes so fast. I got given some brilliant advice before the day and I’m so grateful for it – don’t worry about going round and speaking to everyone, just enjoy it, people will come to you. And don’t stress, I was so relaxed in the morning and some couldn’t believe it but I wanted to enjoy the whole lead up to it wedding and I really did.
Congratulations Molly & Joel!