April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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April 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s Bonfire Night wedding is full to the brim with woodland gorgeousness. Kayleigh and Paul opted for a rural wedding venue, daisies and natural grasses in the bridal bouquet and a dramatic ivy arch as the focal point for their ceremony. The result? Fan-flipping-tastic.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also some cool retro styling, sparklers a-go-go and the most glorious confetti shots. Look no further: this is autumn wedding inspo at its best.
With photography by Lumiere Photographic.
kayleigh says: We got engaged in 2015 after 12 years of being together (we‘re high school sweethearts!) Paul took me down to a log cabin in the Cotswolds where we’d stayed before. While I unpacked the bags, he hung up fairy lights on the terrace and lit candles. The sun was setting and it was so beautiful when I walked out and saw it all.
We got married on Bonfire Night 2016. We didn’t want a summer wedding because we both prefer the cold and the colours associated with this time of year. It was also the perfect excuse to have hot dogs and chilli at night and celebrate with fireworks and sparklers!
We got married at Priory Cottages near Wetherby, Yorkshire. We loved this venue because it was kind of an ‘all-in-one’. We got married in the beautiful barn, moved into the marquee for our reception and our guests could stay overnight in the cottages. The drive up to the barn was beautiful and the surrounding fields were a gorgeous backdrop for our pictures.
Our theme was autumn, using warm dark colours and earthy tones throughout. We used a lot of hessian, wood and fairy lights to create an almost woodland theme. As lovers of vintage and retro styling, we also used some old suitcases and house blankets for the inevitable chill.
Our colour scheme was dark blue and forest green. We had the bridesmaids in blue and the groomsmen too with hints of green in their ties, shoes and scarves.
I chose a Justin Alexander dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. It was strapless which I didn’t initially like, but the staff added a gorgeous attached lace top and it had a V-shaped back which gave it an extra special touch, too.
Getting ready, we used Luxe Beauty Lounge in Yeadon for our makeup. Emily was fantastic and made all the girls feel confident. Courtney Wilson from Hair by Courtney is my usual hairdresser and was absolutely brilliant.
February 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
For today’s real wedding, we’re escaping to the serene and picture-perfect backdrop of the National Wildflower Centre for Hannah and Leon’s special day.
After seven years together, the couple said ‘I do’ at Runcorn Town Hall before celebrating with family and friends in the unconventional Wildflower Centre, set in the 35 acre Victorian Court Hey Park, for a wedding with a boho twist.
There are so many wonderful and heartfelt touches to this wedding – from the couple’s ‘posh’ picnic and specially crafted cocktails, to their handmade decorations and blessings in the pretty surroundings of a meadow.
With images by Hayley Blackledge Photography
hannah says: We got engaged on our first real Christmas living together. We had opened all our gifts and Leon said he had forgotten one, so he went to get it while I opened my last gift. I turned around and there he was on one knee. He did the traditional full name and full question – it was perfect. My last gift was a Westlife album of all “our songs” from when we first started going out as kids. On the back, he had written me a full proposal that I could keep forever.
We were married on 30th July 2016, exactly one week after our seven-year anniversary. Leon is a teacher so we wanted the wedding to take place while he was off school, which meant this date was perfect.
We had two separate venues for our wedding day. The first was Runcorn Town Hall for the ceremony, and the reception was hosted at the National Wildflower Centre in Liverpool. The first time we visited, we walked through the wildflowers, explored the park and sat by the pond with my parents and sister, and we fell in love with the place. I noticed a tiny poster offering venue hire for events and we never looked back once we were given the price. Our parents were married in Runcorn Town Hall so it held a lot of sentimental value for us. Plus, it’s very beautiful.
We didn’t aim to have a theme, but ended up with a laid-back posh picnic – quite a mix! We wanted to create a beautiful space and that meant the right decorations rather than one set theme or colour.
The colour theme grew over time and became much more relaxed the closer we got to the big day. We started with navy (Leon’s suit), white (my dress) and peach (bridesmaid dresses). Over time we added gold, greens, wood tones, pinks and other pastel colours in the same shade. It looked great!
When it came to my outfit, I didn’t want to look like the “classic bride” and wanted something a touch more vintage and boho. There was one store on Bold Street in Liverpool, Cherry Blossom Boutique, which I tried to call into at least three times. Every time I called over, I’d mistimed it. I managed to make it along one afternoon though and found my dress. I tried two dresses on and then there it was: my Gino Cerruti. The full-length gown had an illusion neckline, a waist synching band and low back, and was covered in hoops of clear beads. I paired my dress with chunky heeled T-bar New Look shoes and a handmade veil from my nan. I then swapped my heels for white flats for most of the day.
Leon wore a navy three-piece suit, with a waistcoat of a different texture from Next. He teamed this with a white shirt with handmade Marvel Spiderman cufflinks and socks, and a pink tie from Burton, with a pink pocket square. To complete his ensemble, he wore brown brogues from Tesco and a squirrel silver tiepin.
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November 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple took the ‘my way’ approach to their wedding by picking a theme and colour scheme that reflected their passions and interests.
Without a hint of pink to be seen, James and Fiona opted for a cool Britannia style wedding with a red, white and blue colour scheme and attire inspired by fashions of the 50’s and 60’s.
Bride Fiona, pulls off the look perfectly in a sweet tea-length dress, faux fur shrug and vintage birdcage veil, while her bridesmaids remain on form in striking red Vivian of Holloway dresses. We must also give a mention to the cute flower girls who look super-angelic in their twirly dresses!
With images by Eye of the Tyne Photography
fiona says: We got engaged on holiday in Northumberland. James grandparents were from there and after they passed away his mum bought a caravan so we would go a couple of times a year. One of our favourite places to go was Druridge Bay, which is a very pretty with lots of sand dunes, so on Easter weekend last year James and I decided on a little trip there, although the weather forecast was a bit ominous James insisted we go and made me walk up the biggest sand dune, even though I was wearing slippery boots and at one point I wanted to turn back but he pulled me up to the top. We then took some pictures and as I turned around he was on one knee.
Our wedding was on the 19th June 2016. We thought about June or September and our venue had a Sunday free in June which would be easier for my family to travel up from London the day before. When we booked it we didn’t actually realise it was Father’s Day until we sent out our invitations, but maybe this day had chosen us, as both myself and James’ father were not present at the wedding, James due his father passing away when he was a child and mine due to ill health, so it was a fitting tribute!
We got married at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Their barn is a beautiful Grade II listed building. Our original idea was that we wanted to get married in the Yorkshire dales where we camp every year and looked into hiring a yurt, but the logistics were too complicated and as I had family and friends coming from London we decided on somewhere a bit closer to home. The barn was ideal as we could decorate it ourselves, and the backdrop was stunning for photographs.
We had a 50’s/ 60’s cool Britannia theme for the wedding. Both myself and James love 60’s music and I also love the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s so it was pretty much a given we would have some element in our wedding. We decided on a cover of Love is All Around, for the wedding march and played the Beatles and the Kinks during the register signing. My dress and bridesmaids were 50’s inspired and James’ shirt and suit was 60’s inspired.
Our wedding colour scheme was red, white and blue, so a bit different to the usual pinks. We wanted colours that reflect our own tastes and we also wanted vibrant colours that would stand out.
As soon as I started planning the wedding I knew I wanted a tea length dress. I have always liked vintage styles and had a couple of 50’s style dresses so knew that it suits my body shape and height. I did search several local bridal shops and looked at specific designers who did tea length dresses and ended up going to four or five different shops but each dress I tried I found either I didn’t like part of the dress or the material wasn’t right. Eventually I found a lovely shop called Wedding Belles of Otley. They had already selected a few dresses for me to try on, including one that and been designed as a bridesmaid dress but I was assured that lots of brides had chosen it as their wedding dress, although the colour was pink they also did it in ivory. As soon as I tried it on it was exactly what I wanted; lace bodice and satin skirt with buttons down the back, perfect!
I also like to accessorize and found the perfect accompaniment with a feather shrug and vintage style shoes from BHS. I didn’t think a long veil would suit the style of my dress so bought a plain birdcage veil and a lovely feathered clip from Debenhams, which matched very well with my shrug.
For my bridal hair and makeup, I used Le Keux Vintage Styling, who were great!
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July 5th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Prepare to take note ladies, for this is how an elegant wedding is done!
Opting for a ‘black-tie’ theme, today’s bride and groom Laura and Dominic, wanted a classic wedding that would stand the test of time – and looking at these stunning images, we’d say that’s exactly what they had.
Highlights for us include the romantic lilac colour scheme, Laura’s stunning dress and those gorgeous blooms! Just wow!
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in October 2014, it was at home and a total surprise! It was a Saturday night and Dom had cooked a lovely meal and then after dessert he said he had another dessert! I just thought yay! Two desserts! So he went to fetch a little plate with loads of macaroons on (my favourite) and in the middle was a box with a Haribo ring in (we had a running joke that I wanted to get married so much I would even say yes to Haribo), of course I said yes and cried a lot and was quite proudly wearing my Haribo! Then a few minutes later he nipped upstairs and gave me my beautiful ‘real’ engagement ring.
We got married on 16th April 2016. We originally wanted a winter wedding but Dom’s sister lives in Australia and is a teacher so we couldn’t quite fit it in with the dates. That said, I’m so glad we had a spring wedding now, the weather was great, daffodils were in full bloom at the church and even the date itself had a good ring to it.
We got married at St Peter’s Church in Edensor, which is a small village in the Chatsworth estate. Dom and I have visited Chatsworth all our lives and it’s a very special place to us, so it just seemed right!
We had our reception at Hassop Hall, we had been to Hassop for meals on numerous occasions and always loved the ‘old worldly’ vibe. But as soon as we walked into the ballroom, we knew it was perfect for the wedding and nowhere else really seemed to compare!
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December 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We’re getting your week off to a very beautiful start here on the blog by reliving the wonderful wedding of Hannah and Joe.
When the two of them see today’s post they will be in Australia on a somewhat mammoth honeymoon as they decided to leave for a year’s travelling the day after saying their ‘I dos’. Guys, we salute you!
Their departure therefore made their boho wedding a leaving party also which meant it was all the more important for the big day to be an enjoyable one. Looking at the pictures we think it’s fair to say the memories will be living on back home in their absence.
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy Photography.
hannah says: We got engaged while on holiday in the South of France with my parents, Gran and my two brothers. On our second day we went to a beautiful village in the mountains called Minerve. We all had lunch together and then went off in smaller groups to explore. Joe walked me up a steep hill with stunning views of the mountains and whilst shaking with nerves, got down on one knee and proposed. I burst into tears and when we’d finally calmed down we ran off to tell my family who were thrilled.
We set the date for the 14th August 2015. As I’m a primary school teacher we knew we wanted the wedding in the summer holidays and we were hopeful for good weather around then! It also meant my brother and his family could come over from Australia to be part of the celebrations.
As Joe is from Derbyshire and I’m from Cheshire, we looked in both areas for a venue but finally fell in love with Abbeywood Gardens in Cheshire. We love the outdoors and this venue has stunning gardens surrounded by fields and forests. The staff were also really friendly, laid back and helpful – we just knew straight away it was the right place for us.
We wanted an outdoor wedding and the venue had a beautiful pagoda near a pond which we thought would be perfect for our ceremony. Of course, we live in England and so it rained for most of our wedding day but we didn’t mind as we had a beautiful ceremony in the huge glasshouse where you could still look out at the flowers.
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