Charlotte Balbier

real wedding recap winter 2014. mind the gap! a colourful & quirky street party wedding in newcastle – katy & andrew

December 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Today’s real wedding is all kinds of epic! Not only did bride Katy totally rock her 50s frock and bespoke headwear, but she and her bridesmaids also hitched a ride on the Metro to the ceremony, then finished things off with one massive street party wedding.

And after all that turkey, fish & chips for supper is sounding good..!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

katy says: Andrew proposed last summer when we were on holiday in New York.

Everyone had been nagging Andrew to propose for months and before we went he gave me ‘the New York talk’ several times – saying very seriously for me not to expect him to propose in New York and that he didn’t want me to ruin the holiday by being all miserable the whole time we were there because he hadn’t proposed.

After the flight to New York I was tired and a bit tetchy and we almost had a row at the airport but something at the back of my mind thinking ‘just be nice, we’re on holiday’. I was glad I was as when we got to our hotel room I spotted an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses and a note in front. I went to investigate (in case it was a freebie) and on the note it read ‘Katy will you marry me’ – I turned round and Andrew was down on one knee.

I’m normally pretty chatty but I was so gobsmacked I wept for about 5 minutes – Andrew actually had to prompt me to say ‘yes’. I’d arranged the holiday and wouldn’t have even thought Andrew would have known where we were staying so was totally blown away that he’d organised such a wonderful surprise.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We were married on 19th June 2014. The ceremony was in the Council Chamber at Newcastle Civic Centre and the reception was in the back lane of the terrace my parents live on!

The reception was first – my parents still live in the house I grew up in. It’s a very social street and ever since a big party to celebrate the millennium they’ve held regular street dos and ‘back lane BBQs’ every summer. It was important to both of us that the whole wedding be as personal as possible, including the venue – so a back lane party was an obvious choice. All the neighbours were fab – when my folks approached them about using the lane not only did they say yes but everyone offered to help, and let us use their back gardens too.

For the ceremony we aren’t religious but still wanted a venue that meant something to us (and was big enough to host over 150 guests). My grandfather was an alderman and Councillor and sat in the (then very new) Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.

As a Geordie away from home I wanted Newcastle to be a big part of the wedding. Other than that it was just all about making it as personal as possible. Dresses, hair and make-up were 50s style.

We chose a teal colour scheme (inspired by the top of the Civic Centre and the Tyne Bridge!)

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I had a 50s style dress from online dress shop,  Honeypie Boutique. And my wonderful local milliner in Reading (where we live) Adrienne Henry made my bespoke peacock headpiece.

My shoes were from BHS and I customised them with peacock tail feathers, pearls and buttons.

I took my dress to be altered at a local dress maker as it needed taking in a bit. They totally let me down and after a series of mishaps (not doing the alterations when they said they would, not turning up at the shop when I was due to collect) I finally got my dress back only to discover, with just 10 days to go before the wedding, they’d taken it in way more than they were supposed to. I could just get into it but it was too tight to sit down/eat/breath!

Fortunately Honeypie had one readymade sample of a dress in a different design in my size which they posted straight out. The only downside being that it had a peach skirt which really wouldn’t have gone with all my peacock accessories.

I could get away with outfit number one for the ceremony and then would wear dress number two for the reception. I decided that if I was having to change dress I would brazen it out and go for a full outfit change. I sent Adrienne a photo of the new dress and my wedding hair and asked her to bring any head pieces she thought would go into her shop on the Saturday. When I got there, she said she hadn’t had anything the thought would be just right so had made me a new one from scratch. I loved my silver evening headpiece – she really pulled out all the stops and helped turn a crisis into a positive.

The bridesmaids had dresses with the inverse colour scheme to mine from Honeypie. I made peacock hair clips for them to tie in with my headpiece.

All the boys wore their own suits but had a variety of teal neckwear from Tom Sawyer.

I made button bouquets for me and the grownup bridesmaids (the younger two had button horseshoes). I did buy some buttons but friends, family and colleagues from work all dug out granny’s button boxes and I also wired in fabric flowers from my parents’ wedding cake, various trinkets and grand parents’ and great grandparents’ engagement rings. It was my old, new, borrowed and blue all in one. With my change of outfit for the evening I swapped the bouquet for a Kate Spade Mr&Mrs number plate clutch!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I got the metro to the ceremony – then we’d hired a vintage Routemaster to take the bridal party and groomsmen for photos and back to the reception.

My mum was really dubious about going on the metro but I was adamant about it. I’m so glad we did as it was so much fun and we got some fab photos. The looks on people’s faces as they pulled into Benton metro station and saw us on the platform were an absolute picture.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

It was really important to make the wedding as personal as possible, using people we knew wherever possible. This meant there were quite a lot of special touches! But I think it’s important to remember not to let the special touches stress you out.

My godfather is an artist and so I asked him to do a painting for us to use on all of the stationery. It was turquoise to tie in with the colour theme and had a seahorse (to echo the top of the Civic Centre) and peacock (as I’d already decided peacock feathers were going to be part of my outfit).

I sewed 300m of bunting (assisted by mother in law, Andrew and best friend Lucy) and my mum made hundreds of tissue pompoms and fans. They had a pompom fluffing party the week before the wedding with all the neighbours.

We had fish and chips for dinner and so to tie in with the theme I made a newspaper with stories about us and used half pages of it as place mats. There were crosswords and word searches on the back which proved a good ice breaker at the tables.

As we were in the back lane and gardens I’d got some mini gnomes to use for table numbers. I had a feeling these would not make it unscathed through the wedding – by the end of the night we were all swigging port out of them!

It worked out as cheap to buy antique cutlery as it was to hire it so we spent months scouring antique and flea markets for sets. We’ve got some lovely ones to keep and will give the rest to the charity shop.

We’re the Meades and so my mum had some mini bottles of Lindesfarne Mead made up for with our names on the label on the back as a surprise.

As the back lane wasn’t a typical venue we did the table plan on a blown up plan of the street so people knew where everything else was as well as their table. We always play drinking games during the speeches at other people’s wedding so we also did a big sweepstake on the table plan.

The specialist touch of all was all of the neighbours. We hadn’t managed to set everything up on the Friday night so all the neighbours came out at 8am on the Saturday morning to help set out all the tables and chairs. It was a real team effort.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

One of the neighbours is in a band and the street always head out en masse to support them when they play gigs locally so they were the obvious choice for music. They played in their garage and we had the dancing out in the lane. They were fab.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We had wedding cheese from The Cheese Board in Harrogate. Complete with knitted mice in miniature versions of our outfits that one of my colleagues made. I hand stitched some mini bunting too.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our marquee was supplied by Alan Fairbairn, Marquee Hire Ltd, linen by Dandy Events, and bar and glassware by Boutique Bars.

Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

The whole day was amazing – better than I could have ever imagined.

But bar far the best bit – and certainly the most emotional for me was the ceremony itself. Closely followed by just about every other part of the day. Even the pouring rain we had coming out of the ceremony was fun.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

For our honeymoon we did a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Death Valley, Yosemite and the Pacific Highway.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

My top tip for Brides Up North is that the most important bit of the wedding is where the two of you stand at the front and do your ‘I do’s. All the rest is window dressing.

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underwater love. a beachy wedding at newton hall – esther & ben

December 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (27)

I’ve been at home all week with a poorly little one, and the cabin fever is starting to set in.  So what better way to cure the Calpol blues than this bright and beautiful beachy wedding from scuba lovers Esther and Ben?

Whilst we hole up on the sofa and recover, I’ll let you get stuck into this fresh and fabulous celebration, with images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography, and more than a few lovely personal details.

Let’s hit the surf

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (1)

esther says: We got engaged in September last year. We were visiting our scuba diving friends in Vietnam, Kerry and Eugene. Ben had arranged for Eugene to take us for a dive one morning, and after about 40 minutes we were coming to the end of the dive. Just before I thought the dive was about to end Eugene disappeared around a large rock as Ben and I followed I looked up to see Kerry, Eugene and a photographer staring at us. As I looked down ‘Marry Me?’  was written in shells in the sand, Ben got down on one knee and pulled out a ring.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (3)

We got married on 18th August 2014 at Newton Hall in Northumberland. We chose to have a seaside theme as Ben and myself met as scuba diving instructors in Mexico and love the sea.

We originally looked at the venue because it was near sea. As we drove up the grounds looked stunning, inside the rooms were quirky and had a shabby chic feel, which fit our theme and personalities. As we walked into the ceremony room I could imagine us getting married there. It was the first and last venue we looked at.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (6)

I chose a v-neck ivory fit and flare dress with black embellishment from Rosina Brown Bridal Boutique in Stocksfield. I never imagined wearing a dress with black on it but as soon as I put it on I knew it was the right dress. It was so flattering on me and unique that I knew it was perfect. I’m so glad I picked a dress from Rosina’s, she was amazingly helpful and professional and she seemed to know what I would like even before I did.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (19)

Ben wore a black suit with an ivory waist coat and cravat from Moss Bros. My mum made all the guys blue pocket squares and shell buttonholes to match the girl’s dresses. The bridesmaids’ dresses we bought online from Etsy.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (25)

James Tracey, our photographer, was wonderful. He made us feel at ease, he got on fantastically with all our guests and he wasn’t at all intrusive. In fact, we hardly noticeable on the day. James did exactly what we asked and more, we didn’t want many posed pictures, instead James really captured the emotion and overall feeling of our wedding and our pictures ended up looking stunning. We couldn’t have asked for more.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (37)

I carried a bouquet that my mum made from silk flowers and brooches. Most of the brooches were given to us by family members and family friends. On the tables, we had blue and white sweet peas, which my granddad grew in his allotment.

Ben’s mum Jenny made beautiful drift wood signs and collages to decorate the venue. My family made all of our decorations and centrepieces.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (50)

My mum made a three-tiered chocolate truffle cake with white chocolate icing, which her and my aunt Sue decorated with edible shells. She even made a starfish bride and groom as toppers!

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (59)

During our wedding ceremony we had a sand ceremony, which fit our theme and added our own unique twist to the ceremony.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (62)

I think the moment where I was standing at the end of the aisle, my bridesmaids had gone down the aisle the music was playing and I looked up for the first time to see Ben at the end. We made eye contact and he smiled at me and his eyes started to water.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (75)

We went on a little mini-moon for a few days to the lake district but we haven’t been on a big honeymoon yet. We are saving so we can go to the Galapagos with our friends Kerry and Eugene, which is our dream.

a beachy wedding at Newton Hall (c) James Tracey Photography  (74)

My top tip for other other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every second because the day flies by.

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‘Art Throb. Maggie Sottero For A Real Wedding At The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Claire & John

May 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Andy Hudson Photography

Today’s Real Wedding is just lovely.

Claire and John’s celebration was cute, stylish, personal and full of fun… with plenty of prosecco!  Just the way we like ‘em around these parts.

With images by Andy Hudson Photography.

Andy Hudson Photography

Claire says: We got engaged in November 2012 when we were on holiday at Clavell Tower in Kimmeridge, Dorset. Clavell Towell is an old observatory folly. It was restored by the Landmark Trust in 2006.

It’s a very special, atmospheric place especially as the tower is perched on the top of a high cliff and there were gale force winds and torrential rain for most of the time we were there! It was a perfect place to enjoy our special time together before sharing our news with family and friends.

Andy Hudson Photography

We were married on Saturday 1st February 2014. We had our ceremony at St Charles RC Church, Gosforth which was followed by a party at The Biscuit Factory.

We wanted to get married in Newcastle because it is where our home is. Father O’Connor made us feel especially welcome into our local church. We love visiting The Biscuit Factory and it is one of our favourite places. We wanted to share it with our family and friends (especially the ones who do not live in Newcastle). We love eating and the Food Social restaurant had always impressed us. We liked the opportunity to design our own menu with all of our favourite things! We ate Tempura King Prawns, Rosemary and thyme marinated rump of lamb (with garlic mash) and sticky toffee pudding.

Amazing!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We did not have a theme although we did end up using a lot of brown Kraftcard! We stamped our guests names onto luggage labels and our invitations, order of service and menus were printed onto simple Kraftcard.

We wanted the day to be simple and relaxed and most of all fun.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Hilary Whitham did our make-up… she is amazing! My friend Sarah did our hair, which was lovely.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

I wore a dress called Bronwyn Marie by Maggie Sottero which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. Hayley, her mum and Leanne were patient, helpful and very professional.

My dad actually recommended this shop to me because he has driven past and thought the window display looked very elegant!

I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wear a ‘wedding dress’ but knew I did not want a strapless dress. The Bronwyn Marie was made of exquisite lace, fitted me perfectly and was very comfortable. I loved the buttons all of the way up the back (and would like to thank my lovely friends Helen, Amy and Megan for helping me get into it on time… Helen can tell you exactly how many buttons there were!)

I did not feel ‘ready’ until I had all of my accessories on. I felt like they were a big part of my whole outfit. I had a clutch bag instead of a bouquet and I also had a long pearl necklace which I bought years ago when I was on holiday with my mum. The talented Kelly from Tantrums and Tiaras made a pearl brooch to match my necklace which I wore on the ribbon belt around my waist.

I usually wear glasses so was a bit nervous about not wearing them (people who always wear glasses will understand this). I felt much more confident with my beautiful cap/birdcage veil from Sasso and even though I had not planned to have any form of veil I felt like it complemented my outfit perfectly.

I also wore a faux fur jacket for getting too and from the church. This is something that I would never usually wear but I loved it.

John wore a three piece navy suit from Slaters in Newcastle. They altered it so it fitted him perfectly. He also had new shoes. He looked very handsome. His best man and ushers wore their own suits.

Andy Hudson Photography

My sister and John’s sister were our bridesmaids (they are both called Helen which is a bit confusing). They chose their own dresses which were navy blue maxi dresses from Monsoon. We wanted them to feel comfortable on the day.

William our nephew was our page boy and was very trendy and Lily was our beautiful flower girl. Lily also chose her own outfit and even though her mum (our good friend Alex) wanted her to buy a blue bridesmaid dress we thought that Lily’s choice of a sparkly skirt and top with a furry shrug from Monsoon was perfect! She was very excited.

Andy Hudson Photography

Our friends Carol and Dean gave me and my Dad a lift to the church in their posh white Landrover.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

My favourite part of the day was seeing John for the first time (he said ‘wow’).  We both also really loved the ceremony itself as Father O’Connor made it relaxed and personal. I enjoyed getting ready in the morning with my lovely friends and family. We loved seeing the Biscuit Factory all prepared for us, eating the amazing food and dancing… so all of it really.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Our photographer was the lovely Andy Hudson.  We love the photos and felt that Andy made us and our guests feel very relaxed.  We also loved our pre-wedding photos.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We had yummy prosecco in the church porch after the ceremony and a vintage route master bus (booked via Coach Direct Ltd)  transported our lovely guests together with us to The Biscuit Factory.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We had lots of mojito cocktails, prosecco and local beer from Wylam Brewery when we arrived at the Biscuit Factory. We knew we were going to have a good party when The Biscuit Factory asked if the could replenish the cocktails within 30 minutes of arriving!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Our beautiful white tulips on the tables were designed and made up by our lovely talented friend Cheryl Ford as a wedding gift. We were utterly speechless when we saw the Biscuit Factory set up for us… it was so much better that we had ever imagined!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We had Polaroid cameras with silly props for people to have fun with and leave us with some very happy memories and we had hired J&C light up letters from Doris Loves and they really suited the industrial look of The Biscuit Factory.

Andy Hudson Photography

We had a giant Colin the Caterpillar cake from Marks and Spencer!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

The fantabulous Maverick Rejects were our chosen band. Their manager Sean was superb and made sure that everything ran smoothly. He even thought of things that we would have never even considered – like setting up during our church ceremony so they would not interrupt our celebrations.

The band were absolutely amazing and full of energy. They rocked the dance floor and were a big part of our day being so much fun.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

For our honeymoon we went cross country and downhill skiing in Norway. It was very cold, very snowy and very beautiful. We loved it.

We booked our honeymoon through Ski Safari. Andy Hemingway was very helpful.

Andy Hudson Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax… and enjoy having all of your favourite people being in the same place at the same time… just for you!

Andy Hudson Photography

Congratulations Claire & John!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North? Here’s how.

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Something Blue. A Super Crafty Real Wedding At As You Like It, Jesmond – Laura & Mark

December 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

Paul Santos Photography

Laura and Mark’s Real Wedding, with images by Paul Santos Photography is utterly adorable.  Almost entirely handcrafted and painstakingly personal, this beautiful celebration in Newcastle is something really special.  The whole lot may have taken Laura months to make, but her efforts and the end result was entirely worth it.  Brides Up North, be very, very inspired!

As You Like It Wedding

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Laura says: We got engaged in Cardiff, after going to see an opera at the (Mark’s then current place of work) Wales Millennium Centre. We were going away on our first holiday in ten years the next day. He asked just as we were going to bed. I think I asked the poor man if he was ‘taking the mick’.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

We got married on 11 August 2013 at As You Like It, Jesmond. I would whole-heartedly recommend them. They were so supportive of our needs and… wow….the gravy on the roast dinner… crazy-good.

The venue was welcoming from the outset and was quirky and informal in a good way. We wanted something a bit different looks-wise, and the staff were so lovely which just sealed the deal for us.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Our theme was really just ‘stuff we liked’ but the vague themes were animals (we put pictures of dogs in the tops of the envelopes) and named our tables after cats. Our cake toppers were two cats decoupaged with the words to our first dance. We also had a few buttons here and there too. The theme for the tables were ‘charity shop chic’, a sort of visual amuse bouche.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Our colour scheme was a palette of blues. The bridesmaids were navy and ice blue and the bouquets a mixture of blue, silver and gold.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

My dress was highly beaded and decorated in lace. It had a medium-length train and had a keyhole back. II sewed my veil from a very rough cheap version I got online and added detail to its three metre long length. I made the jewellery (and the bridesmaids, too) from beads (mainly Swarovski crystal) purchased from the Crystals and Ice bead shop in Cardiff.

My bridesmaids and I were pampered on the day by LA Makeovers based at Langley Moor but who came to us on the day. They worked wonders and were willing to work with brides like me who don’t really ever wear much make up and who aren’t good with being faffed with. We looked amazing and they were lovely.

Paul Santos Photography

I had three bridesmaids, as well as three bridesmen. I have grown up with these men and I wanted them to be a part of our day. They escorted the three bridesmaids. The men wore suits from Slaters in grey with blue neck wear (Mark wore cream). My sister had a wrap around dark navy/ midnight blue bridesmaid dress from BHS and my other bridesmaids had ice blue halter dresses from eBay.  I matched the colour of Kate’s dress by giving them a sash. The pageboy (our nephew) wore a teeny suit (taken in by my mum) from John Lewis in navy.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

I loved it all but If I had to pick a favourite part of the day it would be the ceremony. I was worried I would bawl through it (we’ve been together nearly 12 years and also my dad had been very ill and we were not sure if he would even been there). We decided we wanted singing in our ceremony (like you would in a church) and chose ‘Bring me Sunshine’ and ‘When I’m 64’. These went down really well – even if Mark’s Best Man and one of my Bridesmen had to carry some of the songs (thanks, guys!). I wanted both my parents to walk me down the aisle, which was good as I was at the point of nearly fainting at that point (some of the guest photos of me are hilarious). I loved looking at Mark saying my vows, loved singing and loved our readings (‘The Places We will Go’ by Dr Zeuss and ‘I like this way that this is going’ by The Eels). I loved walking back down with my husband and having our guest chuck all that handmade confetti at us.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

We were (and are) eternally grateful for our photographer Paul Santos Photography.  His friendliness and amazing photographs will stay with us forever.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Special touches were the things which took the time. I was determined to be on-budget (and I was!) which meant saving money by DIY-ing. Despite it being my first year of teaching, we decided to make most ourselves.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

I wanted everyone to have a mini buttonhole for the day, so I made those to be the same as my bouquets. I also wanted (well, truth be told I get bored, see cool stuff on the internet and decide to make it) confetti as AYLI allow it inside the venue. I made (with the help from one of my friends who was over for a conference) mini confetti cones with vintage sheet music from a charity shop in Rochester and then used a 2.5cm heart-shaped stamp cutter to stamp out hearts from a vintage Alice in Wonderland book (again a charity shop in Rochester). I topped these up with lavender that my sister chose for her wedding but didn’t end up using. I loved the link between our weddings.

Paul Santos Photography

The thing which went down the best was the hand-stamped vintage silver-plated name place cutlery which I roped my mum and dad into helping with (OK! doing) on their holiday to Kent. Mark designed and made personalised Wrestling dolls for each bridesman and usher. Oh, and he also designed the favour boxes which were caricatures of us.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

I’m not good with real flowers and didn’t like the cost of fresh ones so decided years ago (waaaaay before I was engaged) that I would make ones from buttons. It was my ‘old, new etc.’ and I got friends and family to donate, bought a few button collections off the internet and used ones I had. I’d just finished my PGCE and did not yet have my NQT job so had 8 weeks of unemployment ahead of me. I used this time to make my flowers by stacking buttons on wire and wiring the stems together. I made smaller ones for my bridesmaids and matching button holes for the men. I complimented the button stems with handmade paper roses (mainly because the bouquets would be too heavy with only buttons). My nephew, the pageboy, carried a boy-wand which was a felt and button long-stemmed flower which matched the rest of the buttony things.

Paul Santos Photography

We had a lovely tiny vintage post box for our cards on the day from The Finishing Touch Company. They delivered it and picked it up with absolutely no fuss for us.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

We have rather diverse taste in music and didn’t want our evening to be at the wrath of a DJ who would play current chart music which would not make us want to dance. Mark made the play list on his Mac (we had previously, years again before we were engaged, made a play list of our favourite songs). We spent ages making sure they would all run nicely together, using how-to’s on the internet. We also (for larks, and because of the Wrestling dolls we gave for pressies) decided to have our eating play-list be wrestling intros. We made a pact to buy a drink to the first two people who noticed this. I suppose, then, wrestling was also a mini theme.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Marks favourite part of the day was the very last song at the end, because we didn’t have to worry about anyone else at that point (2am on a Monday morning) and we danced freely with a few other people. The dancing, and the music and the evening party was a favourite part of both of our days.

Paul Santos Photography

For our honeymoon we went to Brussels on the Eurostar from London. We are not particularly laze on the beach people and so went to loads of museums, art galleries and places of interest. There are some amazing museums there and our hotel was really central.

Paul Santos Photography

If you’d have asked me a week before the wedding I would have said ‘DON’T, whatever you do, do any DIY’. At that point, I was sick. I had been crafting for nigh-on 14 months (and had spent over 100 hours on Mark’s wedding present of a crochet scrabble board in addition to all the other wedding crafts). A month on, however, I would not be quite so negative about the craftery. This is what made our wedding in my eyes. I dread to think how much time I spent making stuff, but so many people were so amazingly complimentary that it was worth it in the end. I made all the jewellery, we made all our gifts, I glitterified the bridesmaids shoes, I made two veils, we designed and made all the envelopes, invites (which were fortune tellers/ cootie catchers), the favour boxes…the list is endless.  So my top tip for other Brides Up North is to simply go with your hearts. Try not to be swayed with what is fashionable (I didn’t want to be fashionable but ended up making lots of ‘in’ choices, but went with them as I wanted them). AND, most importantly, trust in yourself. I saved thousands on pounds by making things and just KNOW you can too.

Paul Santos Photography

Paul Santos Photography

Congratulations Laura & Mark!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Paul Santos Photography

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Deep Blue. A Bespoke Fishtail Wedding Gown For A Real Wedding At Jesmond Dene House – Leigh & Jamie

December 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Today we are in Newcastle Upon Tyne for a chic city wedding at the beautiful Jesmond Dene House.  Real bride Leigh kept her colour scheme simple and striking and upped the glam factor with a bespoke fishtail gown (and check out those heels!).  And not forgetting her groom (remember him?!) Leigh also made sure to incorporate lots of things that Jamie liked into the day too.

With images by` Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leigh says:  We got engaged in July 2009 in Bowness on Windermere – we were there on a week break staying in a log cabin – and were married on 25th September 2013 at Jesmond Dene House 

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We chose the date as it was my mother and father in-laws wedding anniversary and sadly they have both passed away. So this is a date that we will always share with them.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

The venue was perfect for what we wanted, beautiful surroundings, feeling like you were in the middle of nowhere but very accessible for our guests. It was an ideal size for our numbers and just a gorgeous venue with lovely staff. We fell in love straight away!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We had deep purple and pewter as our colours. I’m quite boring when it comes to colours so we had purple for the bridesmaids then pretty much everything else was pewter!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

I chose an ivory satin fish tail gown with structured ruffles starting from above knee. I had it specially made for the wedding. 

The bridesmaids had beautiful dresses from House of Fraser in deep purple. Two of my bridesmaids wore floor length and the other four wore calf length. The dresses where perfect as I didn’t want the usual satin strapless bridesmaid dresses.

We hired the groomsmen’s suits from Slaters in Newcastle, they chose the wool/silk tailcoat suit, which was nice and light.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My bouquet was made up of white akipo roses, white avalanche roses (with diamantes in the centres), white freesia, purple freesia and white bouvardia all hand tied with ivory ribbon and fixed with diamantes.  Flowers by Margret provided all our flowers including bouquets, button holes and table centres. 

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

The ceremony was really special. I thought that it would be the worse part of the day as I am no good speaking in front of people and thought that nerves would get the better of me. But the closer it came to me walking down the aisle, the nerves disappeared and we laughed and smiled all the way through.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My mum originally hired a camper van to do three trips as a surprise for the groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids. Me and my sister stayed the night before at Jesmond Dene House so didn’t need transport but on the morning of the wedding we ended up nipping over to our Mum and Dad’s house so we got to travel in it too!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Kelly Moor made a fantastic job of our four tier wedding cake.  For the base layer we chose fruit/spice cake then red velvet (our favourite), chocolate and the top was vanilla sponge. We kept the cake quite simple with the only pattern on it being strips in a slight metallic icing. We topped the cake with fresh flowers provided by our wedding florist.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We didn’t have a strong theme as such but cars definitely made a few appearances through-out the day. We had track names for our tables and driving simulators in the evening. I wanted it to be as much about the groom, rather than it all focusing on the bride.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We had the excellent Prime Entertainment to do our evening entertainment. They provided us with two driving simulators which went down a storm and a brilliant disco for in the Great Hall.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We went to Mexico for our honeymoon.  We stayed further out from Cancun as all we wanted to do was chill rather than have a party holiday. I would recommend Mexico to anyone we had an amazing time.  Its a beautiful place and the beaches were amazing! Our hotel and travel agent knew it was our honeymoon and spoilt us rotten!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you and the groom want to do but keep reminding yourself that its only one day, it’s easy to get yourself carried away. Enjoy every second of it as the day really does fly over!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

 

Congratulations Leigh & Jamie!

If you would like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North, here’s how to do it. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Leighton Bainbridge Photography

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