November 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom are perhaps among the cutest we’ve had on the blog. From their sweet proposal to their personal wedding ‘promises’ and their love of dancing together, it’s clear these too are totally smitten!
Having had her dream ring placed on her finger, Sara worked with Josh to come up with a wedding day that was true reflection of them as a couple, leading to a music theme for their big day.
Get ready for moving song choices, record décor, a guitar guest book and, of course, dancing!
With images by Sophie Kerr Photography.
sara says: Our engagement came about quite suddenly and was a modern joint decision, we’d been speaking about marriage and it was always as a certain ‘when’ not an ‘if’. One Saturday shopping in Manchester Josh suggested going into a jewellers and he then started looking at rings. He kept telling me to not getting excited it was simply just for future. After a few rings being tried on he went and paid for the ring that in his words, ‘made my eyes light up’. As soon as I saw the bag I got so excited but he kept saying that I needed to put it out of my mind. We followed up our day with a trip to the Cloud 23 bar at the Hilton to raise a glass to a very exciting future. Later I was happily gazing out the window at the sunny view when I turned back to face Josh and I realised he was on one knee. Suddenly everything else disappeared – the only thing I remember him saying was, “I don’t want to be engaged to you – but I want to marry you”. To add to this a lovely couple from Bermuda had been watching, they apparently sensed something as about to happen and started taking pictures and later approached us to get our details to share them. It’s thanks to them that we now have beautiful natural pictures of one of the most important moments in our lives.
We got married on 18th April 2015. We chose this date as we both agreed that we preferred the change of seasons the most and spring 2015 fitted nicely allowing us a comfortable 18 months to plan.
We quickly decided we wanted to get married in a venue that would be exclusive to us and our guests as we wanted it to be a personal and intimate day. We found a few places that fitted in budget and with our preferences. Styal Lodge was actually the first place we went to visit and from the minute we arrived there we fell completely in love, it was perfect. We loved how neutral it was meaning we could truly make it our own and how much light and nature still felt so close due to the big windows. Above all though the reason we chose the venue is due to the people who run it. Styal Lodge’s whole focus is weddings and so everyone is so passionate and dedicated to making your day wonderful.
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October 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding couple chose their venue because it provided something that little different – and looking at their images, we can see why it ticked boxes.
Rustic and minimalist, with a modern edge, the white wash brick structure with beautiful exposed beams, does a lot of the talking for itself. Its natural charm was further enhanced by Lee and Jane with the use of lots of twinkling fairy lights, which draped elegantly across the ceiling.
Opting to keep things simple, they then just added a few simple decorative touches here and there in white gypsophila and rustic bird cages to complete their dream setting. It certainly gets the thumbs up from us.
Images by James Tracey Photography.
jane says: We got engaged on 3rd July in the New Forest at a beautiful hotel called The Pig. It a beautiful sunny evening and the night before my 40th birthday, needless to say lots of champagne was consumed!
We set the date for Friday 19th June as we’d always wanted an early summer wedding. Dates at our chosen venue, The Ridings School at Calke Abbey, Derby, were quite limited so rather than change the timing of it, we opted for a Friday.
We chose The Ridings School as it was a little different from your run-of-the-mill wedding venue and was something that we could put our own stamp on.
Overall we just wanted a relaxed wedding day with a country/rustic feel to it. We also wanted to involve as many friends as possible in the planning to make it more personal.
We decided to stick to a very simple colour scheme of green and white to complement the theme.
I chose to have a fairly traditional dress, which was made Charlotte Thompson Bridal. I picked elements of different dresses which I loved and she made me a bespoke gown which I absolutely loved!
On the wedding day Claire Elizabeth did my makeup. She used an airbrush technique, which meant it stayed on all day. My hair was done brilliantly by a good friend of mine.
James Tracey was our fabulous photographer. We already knew him through friends and so we had seen his excellent work. We booked him early on to make sure he was available on our day.
All the wedding flowers were sourced and arranged by my best friend and chief bridesmaid, Claudia. We had a mixture of simple gypsophila and green roses to fit the colour scheme.
We loved the giant ‘love’ letters that we had seen about so decided to hire some for the wedding, which looked great in the photos. We also had lots of fairy lights and some decorative bits and pieces on the table.
As favours we gave our guests personalised paper bags filled with heart-shaped sweets.
We had a beautiful wedding cake which was made by my mum and multi-talented friend, Claudia. Mum made the huge bottom tier and top tier, which were fruit cake, and Claudia made the middle tiers and iced it all. I loved it!
The rest of the food on the wedding day was taken care of by Black Peppermint and was absolutely delicious.
To provide the entertainment we hired The Serious Hat Band. I had heard them before when I went to a party on the Isle of Wight. They were brilliant and kept the dance floor full all night long.
We also made our own photo booth by hiring a large frame so guests could have their photos taking whilst posing in it using a Polaroid camera. They were then asked to stick a photo in our guest book to provide memories of the day.
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. It’s a lot different to other venues and the staff there are brilliant. It has a great feel to it!
Looking back we couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day as we loved all of it! We didn’t stop smiling!
For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and then stopped off at Dubai on the way home to see some friends. It was the perfect combination of destinations and we would recommend them to other couples in search of honeymoon ideas.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to organise the big things early on and then you can really enjoy the run up to the wedding. Also, take some time out on the wedding day to spend with your new husband.
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October 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though I love living in the city I would have to say that similar to bride Emma, I’m a bit of a country girl at heart. I therefore love the chic country styling with elegant 1950s vintage touches that she and groom Tom picked for their big day.
The Cadillac car, old-fashioned bicycles and thoughtful décor help to set the scene as does Emma’s stunning Audrey Hepburn style dress, which she found in the fabulous One Fine Day bridal boutique that we know well ourselves.
For anyone planning a rustic or vintage style wedding, it’s time to grab a pen and paper and take note!
With images by Ollie Gyte Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in August 2014 in London. Tom took me for a lovely meal in Soho. Afterwards we took a stroll along the Thames and Tom proposed opposite the London Eye.
Our wedding date was 10th July, 2015. We chose this time of year simply because we wanted a summer wedding.
We got married at St Stephen’s Church in the village where we both grew up. We then had our reception at Homestead Farm, Ormskirk, and Lancashire. Tom and I are both very country people and the layout of the venue went really nicely with our chosen theme.
The styling of the wedding was centred on a vintage 1950s theme as we both like that era and also like the rustic look.
In terms of colours, we chose pastel nude pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses and light blue for the groomsmen as they were nice bright summer colours.
My dress was from a beautiful shop called One Fine Day, which is in Tarleton. Lindsay, who owns the shop helped me choose my dress and with her expertise we found the perfect dress to suit my figure. The designer of my dress was Sanyukta Shrestha. It was an organic silk long design, with an Audrey Hepburn look.
Tom wore a light blue three piece suit from Moss Brothers outlet store in Fleetwood, along with matching tan belt and brogues. The groomsmen wore the same suits as Tom.
My bridesmaids wore pastel nude pink dresses from ASOS, which were 50s style to go with our theme.
To transport us to the venue on the wedding day, we hired a 1950s Cadillac from Birkdale Classics in Southport.
Our photographer was called Ollie Gyte. We chose him as he’s a great guy and an exceptional photographer, which showed in the work he showed us prior to us booking him. He took care of all the photography aspects and delivered great photographs of our big day.
For my wedding flowers I had pink and ivory roses with a mixture of wild green flowers. My lovely friend Paula Popple provided the lovely bouquets of flowers.
When it came to décor Tom and I (with the help of a few friends) made a lot of the items ourselves such as comical wooden signs but we hired a company called Add A Little Sparkle, to decorate the tables, chairs and parts of the main room and the reception.
As favours we gave our guests a pack of locally produced ‘spud’ flavoured crisps, which we got from Fiddler’s Farm in Rufford.
We chose an ombre style wedding cake with three tiers of pastel pink icing. The two outer tiers were sponge and the middle tier was lemon sponge. Nikki from Lemon Tree Bakery made the cake for us, and it was delicious!
To match our theme we decided on an afternoon tea (served with Pimms) for our wedding meal, which was provided by a company called Yours Truly. In the evening we had a hog roast which was supplied by Homestead Farm.
For entertainment we had a young vocalist and guitarist who performed in the barn on arrival. He had a great raw talent and a lovely voice. At the reception we had a band called The Fable who were from London. They were a Mumford & Sons style band, which is why we chose them as we love their music.
After our wedding day we would strongly recommend Homestead Farm to other brides and grooms, as not only is the venue in a brilliant setting in our eyes but all of our guests agreed too. Margaret the owner is a great person who could not do enough for us.
Our favourite part of the day was being sat down having our afternoon tea whilst watching our closet family and friends enjoying themselves.
For our honeymoon we first travelled to New York to see our friends get married. We stayed in NYC for three days and then flew out to Florida and stayed in a villa for just over two weeks. We visited the Disney parks with our little boy Jack who (as well as us), loved every minute!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try not to stress about the day itself and the days running up to the wedding as it all comes together in the end. Also, when all the hustle and bustle is going on during your day take a step back with your partner and take everything in as it all goes very quickly!
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September 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding couple enjoyed a rather public engagement on board the Orient Express sister train. Agreeing to the proposal, Lisa and beau Richard then went full steam into planning their city centre Manchester wedding.
Picking the iconic town hall in which to say their ‘I dos’, the bride, groom and their guests then enjoyed a relaxed reception with lots of pretty blue and white touches before the evening party got underway.
Controversially (but cool we say), Lisa chose to wear a pair of sparkling Nike high top wedges underneath her princess gown to ensure she could comfortably dance the night away!
With images by Jules Fortune Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged on the Orient Express sister train. Richard had booked the Valentine’s meal on board the train, which took us on a round trip from Manchester to Wigan. He got down on one knee and ripped off his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with him on it with his thumbs up and the words ‘Marry Me’ on it. When I said yes, the carriage cheered and a brass band played Congratulations.
We set the date for 27th July 2015, hoping for sunny weather, which is exactly what we got.
We didn’t have a theme as such but we knew that after the town hall we would want to relax and party with our friends and family.
The colour scheme was baby blue and white. There was no particular reason for this choice other than that it would work well with the colour we chose for the bridesmaid dresses.
My dress was very much the princess, fairy tale look. I just wanted to be a princess for the day. I chose it from a bridal show at Manchester Central.
Richard wore a navy blue suit from Moss Bros. The best men also wore navy blue suits, but they were purchased on their own.
My lovely bridesmaids looked elegant in long blue dresses which we found in Debenhams.
Jules Fortune was our photographer and we would definitely recommend her. She did us proud with our pictures and made us feel so relaxed on our special day. The photographs were exactly how we hoped.
To fit in with the colour scheme mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were all made up of cream roses and blue thistles. To create a striking centrepiece at the venue we used white roses, blue thistles and allium flowers which were hung upside down from the ceiling. All the flowers were provided by Karen at Leon Van-Berkel in Warrington.
Other décor included two large tigers made from polystyrene from Tony at 3dsetco in the entrance at the reception venue and a poly picture frame with ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ written at the bottom from Ian Axon at Poly Logo. Sue at Hire Requirements provided the tables and chairs and Celebration Chaircovers styled up the venue in terms of chair covers and sashes.
As favours we gave jam jars and put a personal message inside for each of our guests, along with a few sweets.
Jay Tailor at Vintage Cupcake Tower created our wonderful cutting cake and cupcakes, which again fitted in with the blue and white colour scheme.
To keep our guests entertained we hired a band called Twisted. We had seen them at the Parklife Festival and we just knew that they would get everybody on the dance floor – and they did!
For our honeymoon, we jetted off to Barcelona. It was the first time we had been and it was brilliant! Everything is in one place – the city, the beach and so many amazing restaurants.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to wear trainers if your dress is big a cover them. I did this and I was so comfortable all day, plus I get to wear them again, rather than having a white/cream pair of shoes stuck in the wardrobe. Richard’s tip to other grooms would be not to get too drunk and to enjoy every minute of the day!
September 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
For this afternoon’s real wedding we are crossing the north/south border in order to share with you original Sheffield girl Laura’s big day.
She and beau Andy met in the capital and so for them it seemed only right to invite their guests from both the north & south to join them in the place they call home.
After saying their ‘I dos’ in the beautiful Islington Town Hall, the happy couple and their guests travelled on board a red double decker to a modern restaurant for the party to continue.
Highlights include Laura’s stunning Pronovias gown, pretty blush pink touches and a very cute ring bearer!
With images by Georgina Martin.
laura says: We got engaged the Christmas after our son Reuben had been born. It was on Boxing Day morning at my parents’ house, Reuben was just two-months-old. Andy asked me to marry him and it made everything perfect!
We had quite a long engagement as weren’t really financially in a position to get married when Andy asked so we waited until we were, and Reuben was a little older to be part of the experience – then we got planning. We decided on May 2nd for our wedding date, the start of spring/summer time so hoping for some sunshine and it was a bank holiday weekend.
Although I am from Sheffield I have lived in London 13 years, it’s where Andy and I met and where we dated. We had always said we wanted to get married at Islington Town Hall one day, I used to live in the area and we’d often walk past and say how lovely it was and that one day that would be us!
We had originally wanted to have the reception in a pub in East London where we had our second date but for various reasons this didn’t work out. Chiswell Street Dining Rooms was the only other place we looked at and instantly thought it fitted in perfectly with what we wanted, a relaxed day with our closest friends and family with good food, drink and a great party!
We didn’t really have a theme as such, Chiswell Street had a really lovely elegant feel to it that didn’t need a lot of dressing so I stuck to white flowers in simple pots from Ikea and lots of chalkboards for the seating plan, and signs around the venue that I bought as prints on eBay and mounted myself. I also bought chalkboards and easels for the table numbers and mini chalk heart pegs that went on everyone’s wine glass as their seating position.
I kept the colour scheme simple, opting for white flowers and blush pink for the bridesmaids so I added a few blush peonies to my bouquet too.
I had always said I wanted a silk/chiffon wedding dress, something floaty and maybe a little boho but my actual dress was much more fitted than I thought – a beautiful Pronovias dress, chiffon with lace and a low v front and back. I put it on and zipped it straight up, the perfect fit and so comfy! It was the first one I tried on. Though I tried lots, something kept taking me back to that one, everyone loved it and the shop were selling their sample so it was even under budget, it seemed like a sign. I bought it there and then.
As it had come in under budget I splashed out on a beautiful pearl and diamante head piece from Gillian Million who had been highly recommended to me, she made it to order and it went perfectly with my dress, she even custom made me a matching cuff. The only other jewellery I wore on the day was my mum’s silver and emerald ring, as my something old.
Andy wore a blue three piece suit from SuitSupply in London, with brown brogues from Ben Sherman and a Zara tie, which matched the best man and ushers. I bought him a Lanvin silver tie pin as his wedding present too which finished his look off perfectly!
The bridesmaids wore gorgeous Ted Baker blush pink maxi dresses, which had lace that complemented my dress perfectly. I managed to find flower girl dresses in almost the identical shade from Autograph at M&S, they also wore M&S cardigans and shoes and tights from Debenhams.
The best man and users all wore blue suits from Moss Bros, their own white shirts and the same blue Zara tie as Andy. Our son Reuben, wore a navy waistcoat and trouser set from Next with a white shirt, bow tie from Ted Baker and his favourite Converse!
As a special touch to the wedding day, Reuben carried the rings on a beautiful personalised ring cushion that I bought from MissSDesigns on Etsy. We really wanted him to feel part of the day and he even brought them up to the registrar, we were so proud of him and all walked down the aisle together at the end of the ceremony.
My wedding car was a black London cab, our friend Gary was a cab driver and kindly offered to be our chauffer for the day. The boys also borrowed a friend’s Bentley to arrive in London in style and we hired a Routemaster bus from London Retro Bus Hire to take the guests from the town hall to the reception.
Our photographer was Georgina Martin. She is Sheffield based and I came across her through my sister during her wedding planning, we instantly loved her work and booked her for our day. As she was in Sheffield and we were in Essex we didn’t meet that much before the day but she fitted in perfectly and made us all feel relaxed. Andy wanted someone to be around while the boys were preparing in the morning too so Georgina brought an assistant Charlie and both girls were great, they captured our day perfectly.
The wedding bouquets were gypsophila and my bouquet also had some pink peonies in to tie in the girls’ dresses. They were from a local florist in Hornchurch called Emma’s Ivy.
Pinterest was my best friend in wedding planning, I created a board of all my ideas and went about sourcing them! To decorate we used gypsophila again at the venue in simple Ikea pots tied with a Mr & Mrs ribbon. We also hired some amazing light up letters in our initials from Vowed and Amazed, which everyone loved!
Other details included white bunting bought from eBay, along with the chalkboard signs and I sourced some lovely banners for the sweet and cake table and a personalised one for the fireplace in the reception from Celebrating Together on Etsy. I also bought some giant balloons in our colours with beautiful tassel tails from Bubblegum Balloons, these were a last minute purchase that I’d been holding out to see if we could afford at the end but I’m so glad we did as they make amazing photo opportunities.
We didn’t have favours as such but the chalkboard heart pegs on everyone’s glasses were theirs to take away and quite a few guests took to wearing them as name badges throughout the day!
We wanted to keep the cake simple along with the rest of the theme. I came across an image on Pinterest and then went about finding someone who could make it for us. I found Millie-Ann at Ever After Wedding Cakes on a wedding blog, she’d done a beautiful modern cake for another London wedding so I got in touch. We met in a shopping centre and she brought me some delicious cupcakes to sample and I was sold! We went with three tiers, the top two lemon with lemon curd and the bottom chocolate, I also added in some red velvet cupcakes, which were amazing!
We had prosecco and summer berry cocktails as arrival drinks on the day. For the food we went for a pear and stilton salad and a choice of Chiswell Streets’ signature fish pie or an Irish stew and dumpling for the main and miniature Amalfi lemon tarts and vanilla cheesecake with cherry jam for those that had room for dessert. The food really was amazing. In the evening the waiters brought round bacon sandwiches and fish and chip cones, and cut up the cake to soak up the alcohol!
In terms of entertainment, we wanted to create a party to resemble your best night out with your friends with all the songs we knew would keep the dancefloor going all night so we were recommended Love 2 Groove DJ’s by a friend and we cannot fault them. They started with some Motown classics, we had Al Green Lets Stay Together as our first dance, which was a very special moment, and everyone was singing the words and joined us on the dancefloor halfway through. By the end of the night the dancefloor was packed with guests dancing to old school house music until midnight. We had lots of compliments on what a great party it was.
For our guest book I bought a Fuji Film Instax Mini Polaroid camera and made a frame to hang the photos in with pegs and twine, I bought a few props by Ginger Ray and everyone had fun taking silly pictures and leaving us notes. The pictures are a great memory of the day, especially the ones as the night went on!
We would definitely recommend Chiswell Street Dining Rooms to other wedding couples. Nicole our event planner was amazing and couldn’t do enough for us, she made the whole day come together exactly as we had planned. It was everything we’d wished for.
We’d also recommend Feel Good Invites who supplied our invitations. This was actually the same company my sister used and she recommended him to us. The quality was very good as was the service, we were really pleased with the finished product.
My favourite part of the day was the actual ceremony, you put so much time into planning the reception it sometimes slips your mind about the actual ‘getting married’ part. The whole thing was so special, walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing my husband-to-be waiting for me and our amazing son being such a big boy and handing over the rings. I felt so happy and proud at the end of it when we all walked down the aisle together, a truly unforgettable moment!
For our honeymoon we went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy; four nights in a beautiful boutique hotel in Sorrento and three nights in a spa hotel on an idyllic island called Ischia. It was the perfect finish. We went without our son and it gave us time to relax as husband and wife and look back and reflect on what an amazing day we had. My parents and sister kindly took our son away too so he didn’t miss out!
It sounds like a complete cliché, but a wedding day really is the fastest day of your life so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take time to take it all in and enjoy every minute!
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September 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
If you were too busy playing out this Bank Holiday to catch up on all things Brides Up North, make sure you click here to catch up on yesterday’s news… the new season and Unveiled Magazine, Issue #04 has landed! No rest for us wicked ones though, we’re getting busy with the pretty right away today… today’s bride and groom don’t like things too over the top and so decided to keep their big day simple and elegant, with both modern and traditional touches.
Following a church ceremony Jessica, Chris and their guests carried on the proceedings at the stunning Lartington Hall, which (having visited ourselves) we can say is a splendid choice of venue.
We love how chic this wedding is. With pretty pastel blooms, classic wedding transport and a dreamy satin wedding gown (in which Jessica looks gorgeous) it might be simple, but it sure is stylish!
With images by Joe Stenson.
jessica says: Chris attempted to propose on two different occasions. The first time was a surprise trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights but unfortunately there was an issue with the ring he had chosen so he didn’t have one and choose not to propose (but we did get to see the lights!).
The second was a surprise weekend to Paris but it was the week in 2014 when we had terrible storms and we got stuck in Dover for nine hours as the port was closed so we ended up missing the restaurant booking and arrived at 1am! Again he chose not to propose.
Third time lucky was an impromptu picnic in the New Forrest (we live in Surrey although I’m from County Durham) with our little dog Frank. Chris was acting very strangely, pacing up and down and eventually got down on one knee and popped the question. It couldn’t have been more perfect – beautiful scenery, wellies on and dog by our side!
We set the date for 25th April 2015. We originally wanted a winter wedding but as Chris proposed in March, I was worried there wasn’t enough time to organise a wedding for that winter. I love spring so this was our next option.
We got married at St. Romald’s Church, Romaldkirk, Teesdale, but we had our wedding weekend, including the reception at Lartington Hall.
My family have connections to the area and St. Romald’s is a beautiful church. We also fell in love with Lartington Hall and the two are only a few miles apart so it worked really well when transporting our guests. We chose Lartington Hall because it was exactly what we had dreamed of for a reception venue. It has all the English countryside charm of a stately home, but is stylish and elegant with a modern twist but doesn’t lose its fabulous history and appeal. John and the team at Lartington Hall are also just fantastic and put us at ease that we had chosen the right venue on our first meeting.
Simple elegance was our theme. We aren’t a fussy couple, we don’t really like lots of bling or making a big statement so we wanted the day to reflect our personalities. It was all about having a traditional, English country wedding with everyone we love around us having a relaxed day and loads of fun.
I’d always wanted my bridesmaids to wear navy dresses, however when we decided on a spring wedding we were worried they might look a little wintery. Rather than change the colour of their dresses, we decided to lighten the colour palette by having beautiful spring flowers in shades of light pinks, purples and blues. The stationary, cake and groomsmen’s accessories all followed the lighter spring colour theme.
I wanted a simple, classic and elegant dress. After trying on loads, I finally found my one at Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique in Beaconsfield. My dress was Anna by Augusta Jones. It is a structured ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, waist defining sash, and a full skirt, made in cream coloured Satin de Chine. I chose an organza overlay skirt also by Augusta Jones which I wore for the church service with a satin edge cathedral veil. For the evening I changed my sash and wore an Austrian crystal sash called Virginia from Ivory & Co. to give me a different look. My shoes were by Emmy London and were customised with mother of pearl T-bar.
Chris and all of the groomsmen wore traditional navy tails from Moss Bros. Chris wore an ivory waistcoat and cravat, while the groomsmen wore silver waistcoats and Creswell pink cravats. Our nephews (aged seven and ten) had top hats to match their suits.
On the wedding day Sally Ward from La Belle Vous, did hair and makeup for me and my three bridesmaids. She did a fantastic job and was lovely to have around on what could have been a very stressful morning! Everyone looked gorgeous but most importantly felt really good after she had worked her magic.
We hired traditional cars from Brooklands Wedding Cars in Durham, to transport all of the wedding party. My mum and I travelled in a 1930s Beauford convertible in navy and cream. The bridesmaids travelled in a 1920s Regent Landaulette in navy and cream, and the groom and family travelled in a cream Daimler State Limousine.
As we met in Nottingham and moved to the south and with Chris’ family being from Hampshire, the vast majority of our guests had to travel to our wedding. Because of this we wanted to put on a coach transfer from the hotels they were staying to the wedding and back again. We organised this through Enterprise Travel, based in Darlington.
When it came to booking a photographer, we contacted Joe Stenson who was based in Leeds and he travelled to meet us for an initial chat. We instantly knew we had picked the right photographer. He is hugely talented with a very laidback approach and was an absolute pleasure to have as part of our big day. We can’t stop looking at our photos – they are just fantastic and really capture what a happy, fun day it was. We would highly recommend Joe, and his colleague George, who also photographed our day.
Kirsty and Katy from Darling & Green, created all of our flower arrangements for church and venue and our bouquets and button holes, Hydrangea were our main theme for the flowers and these were arranged along with a selection of ranunculus, tulips, astrantia, allium sphaerocephalon and hellebores, following our spring colour palette of light dusky pink, soft shades of pink and purple with touches of very light blue and soft foliage.
Darling & Green arranged all of the venue flowers as well in the same theme as above. We had hurricane vases with candles and flowers and tall goblet vases with flowers on alternate tables. We also had mantelpiece arrangements of flowers and candles in the main ball room as well as vintage bottles containing hydrangea heads dotted around the different rooms of Lartington Hall. At the church we had the archway into the church decorated with willow and our chosen flowers, pew ends of hydrangeas and pedestal arrangements containing flowers and candles.
Jill Ellis who owns Hope You Can Make It, in Middlesbrough, designed all of our stationary in shades of the pinks and purples of the hydrangeas so the theme was continued through to the table plan, table names, menus and place settings.
We created a table plan using an antique picture frame, antique keys and old luggage tags. Guests were invited to ‘find the key to their seat’ from the keys hung on the table plan and on each individuals key was the name of their table. We also purchased a drop top guest book where guests could write messages on wooden hearts and post them in the top of an oak frame to create a keepsake of the day.
On our recent trip to Paris we fell in love with traditional Parisian macaroons and so decided to give these as favours to our guests. Chris Burnett at Burnetts 4 Cakes, created traditional macaroons in blush pink and each guest had two macaroons presented in a gift bag at their place setting.
Chris also created our cake. We wanted a simple, elegant, statement cake with oversized tiers and squared edges. Chris took our ideas and created a stunning cake. Each tier was a different flavour: fruit, carrot, chocolate orange and red velvet. The tiers were very plain with ivory icing, except for the bottom tier which was covered in intricate blush pink iced frills. My only regret was I didn’t get any! But we have saved the fruit tier so there is still hope!
Following canapés served during the drinks reception, we had a wedding breakfast of Smoked Salmon to start, Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings for mains and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. In the evening we had hog roast sandwiches served on the dance floor in large baskets – not to interrupt proceedings!
To provide entertainment during the church service we booked Dr Robin Harrison, who is a fantastically talented organ player, and his choir The Bobby Dazzlers. They performed while we were signing the register and were very popular among the guests. We then hired Purple Supper Band for the entertainment back at Lartington Hall and they played jazz piano during our drinks reception, followed by two very lively sets by the band and the DJ finished the night off. The dance floor was full from start to finish!
To make the wedding all the more special, we invited our immediate wedding party to stay with us for the weekend at Lartington Hall, which has 12 beautiful bedrooms. We had a lovely rehearsal dinner on the Friday prior to the wedding and the Saturday preparations were very relaxed as everyone was in the same place.
We would absolutely recommend Lartintgon Hall to all. It is a truly stunning venue, but also the team are so friendly and accommodating – nothing is too much trouble. They make the weekend an extremely relaxing one so the wedding couple can concentrate on enjoying their special day. We could not have asked for more from them.
The wedding service was obviously very special to us, but I think our favourite part of the day was walking into the ball room at Lartington Hall to greet our guests for dinner and seeing everyone together for us – we also got a huge cheer which was fantastic!
Neither I nor Chris had been to Asia or the Far East so we wanted to visit this part of the world for our honeymoon. We chose Vietnam with a one-night stopover in Singapore on the way home. We were away for three weeks and had a fabulous time visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Halong Bay with a ten day stay on a private cove at the fabulous Six Senses Resort Nimh Van Bay. The best things we did were a Vietnamese cookery course, conducted in a tropical garden and a private dining experience in a cave for my birthday. Singapore was a fabulous end to the trip as it was a total contrast to the cities of Vietnam with its modern infrastructure, sky scraper buildings and super clean streets.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – lists, lists and more lists! I make lists in my sleep so this was the way I organised myself during the planning stages. On the day itself, I would say make sure everything is done by the day before so you can really relax and enjoy every little second of the day – it is over so fast. Also, take a step back and observe just for a few seconds at different stages of the day. It is such a blur when it’s all over you will be pleased you took mental pictures of everything that is going on around you.
I can honestly say it was the best day of our lives!
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