Charlotte Balbier

heavenly heather. ronald joyce for a classic wedding at the vermont hotel – janine & david

April 19th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant City Wedding at The Vermont Hotel (c) Lucie Watson Photography (32)

This morning’s real wedding had us from the moment it landed in the Brides Up North inbox.

Talk about beautiful! The big day of Janine and David has it all and is brilliantly styled throughout – from the wedding party’s attire to ceremony and reception décor.

We particularly love Janine’s stunning lace-detailed gown and also her dreamy bouquet, which picks up on the elegant heather-coloured dresses worn by her leading ladies!

With images by Lucie Watson Photography.

An Elegant City Wedding at The Vermont Hotel (c) Lucie Watson Photography (3)

An Elegant City Wedding at The Vermont Hotel (c) Lucie Watson Photography (21)

janine says: David proposed on 27th July 2014 – after us being together for seven years I never thought it would happen. However David surprised me one evening at home by turning an ordinary night into something special by getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. Mainly because once he decided to do it he couldn’t wait any longer!

We got married on 27th March 2016. We had always liked the idea of a winter wedding but Easter fell early this year and my birthday was soon after so it seemed like a nice idea to have it around this time of year.

An Elegant City Wedding at The Vermont Hotel (c) Lucie Watson Photography (43)

Our chosen venue was The Vermont Hotel in Newcastle. We always wanted something in central Newcastle as we had a lot of family coming from Scotland so didn’t want them to travel to Newcastle then onto Northumberland.

Once we visited The Vermont we fell in love with the venue and, in particular, the amazing views! We thought it would be a lovely way to show our family the city.

An Elegant City Wedding at The Vermont Hotel (c) Lucie Watson Photography (52)

We didn’t have a definite theme, we just picked things that were elegant and classic. However as Dave is Scottish it was important for him to wear a kilt, as did all of the male bridal party. I also included a nod to Scotland into my flowers by having thistles.

For the colour scheme we mainly chose ivory, silver, sequin and glitter with the odd touch of heather, which the bridesmaids were wearing. I chose the bridesmaids’ dresses first as I really liked the colour. However it was a unique shade so I found it hard to match it perfectly, so decided to go quite neutral for the rest of the colours and the silver tones worked well with the décor of The Vermont.

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a modern love. pronovias for a contemporary wedding at the baltic – jayne & keith

January 29th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Modern Wedding at The Baltic (c) Andy Hudson Photography (39)

And breathe, for Friday has arrived once again! To celebrate the impending weekend we’re starting the day in style with the gorgeous real wedding of Jayne and Keith.

Picking Newcastle’s iconic Baltic Flour Mill building as the venue for their big day celebrations, the happy couple kept things modern & minimalistic in terms of their colour scheme and styling, which worked a treat with the artistic surroundings.

We just love a city centre wedding and we have to say, this one is a real beauty!

With images by Andy Hudson Photography.

A Modern Wedding at The Baltic (c) Andy Hudson Photography (32)

jayne says: We got engaged on 31st August 2014, while in Pefkos, Rhodes. Pefkos was the place that Keith and I had our very first holiday just the two of us. After a few years of visiting other places Keith was adamant that he wanted to go back, so we did. On our first night of the holiday Keith took me to our favourite restaurant, a celebration he said that we hadn’t been on holiday for a year or two and to start the holiday the way we meant to go on.

We sat down at what was possibly the nicest table in the restaurant, overlooking the beach with the sun setting, still I didn’t suspect a thing. After ordering drinks and our meal, out of nowhere Keith was down on one knee with the most gorgeous ring I could have ever imagined. Not being a particularly quiet and shy person, I think this was the one and only time I have ever been totally speechless. But then burst in to tears. It was all I had ever hoped when thinking of someone asking me to marry them, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The rest of the night and holiday we celebrated!

A Modern Wedding at The Baltic (c) Andy Hudson Photography (40)

Our wedding was on 17th October 2015. We knew that we didn’t want to drag the engagement out as we had already been together seven years and when we found the venue, it all fell into place. Weather was naturally a concern for October but we were really lucky and it was sunny for the majority of the day.

We had our ceremony at St Andrews Church, Lamesley, followed by a reception at Six Restaurant at The Baltic in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

We had a few venues in mind for our wedding but on visiting they weren’t quite right for a number of reasons. The Baltic was suggested to us by a work colleague of mine, which at first we weren’t so keen on. One Saturday we went to visit and instantly fell in love with the place, both leaving with ear-to-ear grins. It really reflected us as a couple, it was in the city that we love and had views to die for.

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dream venue: the biscuit factory

January 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Urban setting 1 - credit Sean Elliott

This evening on the wedding blog, we are thrilled to introduce you to one of our very favourite North East venues – recently shortlisted as ‘Best City Venue’ at the inaugural UK Wedding Awards – the biscuit factory, the UK’s largest arts, craft and design gallery and, quite possibly, the location for your own perfect wedding day. Located in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter, in the Ouseburn Valley, we quiz this stunning space about what makes their offering unique and special.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?

the biscuit factory say: Housed within a former Victorian warehouse, The Biscuit Factory was established in 2002 and is the UK’s largest art, craft and design gallery. The venue boasts a beautiful and inspiring setting for a wedding, characterised by features such as exposed wooden beams and original brickwork. It’s unlike any other city centre wedding venue in Newcastle.

What facilities does it have? 

The Biscuit Factory is set over two floors, displaying an exciting collection of contemporary fine art. It also has an in-house café, The Factory Kitchen, and an adjoining à la carte restaurant, artisan, headed up by North East Chef of the Year winner Andrew Wilkinson.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 -

Does The Biscuit Factory cater for weddings? 

Our purpose-built Biscuit Room is one of the largest venues in the city, accommodating up to 150 guests for a civil ceremony (our venue is fully licensed) and 280 guests for a meal and party. This versatile space can be tailored to your desires, and has played host to a variety of vintage, decadent and stylish themes since it opened 16 months ago.

Couples can also say their vows in the gallery (which accommodates up to 100 guests) surrounded by beautiful, contemporary artwork.

Alternatively – for smaller ceremonies – The Glass House is a more intimate space with an outdoor terrace overlooking the city.

What makes The Biscuit Factory a special wedding venue?

The Biscuit Factory is the venue of choice for discerning couples who are seeking an alternative experience for their big day. With an urban setting in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter and an emphasis on individuality and quality, The Biscuit Factory provides a contemporary and stylish backdrop for a wedding, with exquisite food and drinks to match.

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by the quayside. a city wedding with vintage touches in newcastle – katy-rose & chris

July 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (22)

Today’s couple tied the knot in an iconic part of Newcastle, down by the Millennium Bridge.

Mixing old with new Katy-Rose and Chris chose a modern setting for their Quayside wedding in the form of the Malmaison hotel and then mixed in subtle vintage touches through their transport and attire choices.

Though a small and intimate wedding it looks like a good party followed the ceremony with a blues band providing the evening entertainment.

With images by Barry Forshaw Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (1)

katy-rose says: We got engaged in Barcelona in 2007. Chris was so emotional he couldn’t actually ask me to marry him so he just pushed the ring on my finger – thankfully it would have been a ‘yes’!

We chose to get married on 15th May 2015 as May is our favourite month of the year and we also liked how the date looked written down – 15.05.15.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (2)

We got married at Gateshead Registry office and then had the reception/evening do at Malmaison on the Quayside. We knew we wanted a very small wedding (18 during the day, 50 altogether on the night) so we thought Malmaison would be the perfect venue – and it was!

The wedding was loosely inspired by the 1920s. My dress had a vintage look about it as did the car we hired and the band we chose had a vintage feel too. During our meal we played music from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Etta James and Frank Sinatra to set the scene.

Other than the bouquet, button holes and my make-up there wasn’t really a colour scheme, we kept things quite relaxed in that respect.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (10)

I wore a gorgeous 1920s style beaded dress from YAP Bridal, based in Newcastle. It is a beautiful and simple dress with a sweet heart neckline, intricate beading and elegant train. YAP Bridal were fantastic from beginning to end, they really made me feel special! To complete my look Cheryl Watson from Washington styled my hair on the day which I was delighted with!

Chris wore a lovely slate grey suit from Debenhams with a purple and silver tie.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (17)

On the day I travelled in a vintage style 1920s Regents car which was provided by Brooklands Wedding Cars, based in Durham. The car was stunning and the driver was so lovely, he really eased my nerves!

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (20)

Barry of Barry Forshaw Photography was our photographer and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy! He has a lovely nature and put us at ease straight away. The photographs are beautiful and they capture my family and friends’ personalities really well! We couldn’t recommend him enough!

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (19)

I carried a beautiful bouquet which consisted of roses, lavender and ivy. Helen from Flower Fever provided the bouquet and button holes and we would highly recommend her to others!

In terms of décor, we kept the table really simplistic, so instead of flowers we used black slate and pillar candles to decorate.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (24)

As favours we gave our guests cute cupcakes. When it came to the main wedding cake – I made my own! It was a fruit cake soaked in a lot of brandy! I decorated it with the flowers my Nanna had made for our engagement cake.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (27)

To keep our guests entertained we hired a fantastic blues band called Monkey Junk who played on the wedding night. We love blues music and especially love the sound of slide guitar!

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (32)

We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other brides and grooms. Malmaison is a modern venue with great style and atmosphere. They made sure I didn’t have to worry about anything on the day and took care of every last detail. It was also very relaxed and they use their initiative if things are going ahead/behind schedule. Excellent venue!

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (37)

My favourite part of the day was the wedding breakfast, seeing all of my family and friends together, celebrating with a lovely meal.

An Intimate Wedding at Malmaison Quayside (c) Barry Forshaw Photography (40)

After the wedding we jetted off to New York for six days. We had been before in 2010 and knew immediately that it would be the perfect place for our honeymoon. Greenwich Village is our favourite place to hang out.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to take in and enjoy every moment because it does go very fast!

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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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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 -

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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