July 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s wedding couple encountered every bride and groom’s worst nightmare when their chosen reception venue went into administration just months before their big day.
Keeping their cool Rachel and Ian found an alternative venue in The White Heart at Lydgate. Though they had to switch their date from early April to Valentine’s weekend, the determined duo decided to stick with their pretty pastel springtime colour palette and were pleased to say it worked seamlessly. Add in some cute vintage touches and fabulous florals and you’ve got one very sweet big day!
With images by Katie Sidell Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged whilst on a relaxing weekend away at the seaside in Bridlington in July 2013. We went for a walk to the beach at Flamborough Head where Ian had planned to propose. However when we arrived it was rather busy and a young family and then a man with a metal detector spoilt the moment for Ian so he chickened out! We later went for a walk along the cliff tops and whilst sat on a bench overlooking the sea Ian got down on one knee!
We should have been getting married on the 4th April 2015 but after the wedding reception went into administration we were left to find a new venue just before Christmas! The White Hart Inn at Lydgate came to our rescue and we got married on the 15th February 2015 – it was to be a valentine’s wedding weekend!
We got married at St Paul’s Methodist Church in Shaw, which is the church I have attended along with my family all my life. It was really important to me to get married there because it’s a place where I have grown up! Ian doesn’t go to church so it took me a few years to persuade him! Our reception at the White Hart was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t recommend this venue enough. It is surrounded by picturesque landscape and amazing scenery.
Having got engaged at the seaside in Bridlington, we came across a shop called Behind the Times (one of our favourite shops) which recycles materials to produce vintage products which soon became our theme. We purchased our save the dates and wedding invitations along with lots of other bits from there.
After deciding on a spring wedding we went for a neutral colour scheme with a variety of pastel shades.
My dress was from a bridal shop called Amelia’s Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe. We visit Clitheroe quite a lot and my Mum always said that when my sister or I got engaged we would go there to look for dresses. So that’s where I went. My dress was the very first one I tried on, and I just knew it was the one. The dress had a high lace neck and a stunning low V back which led into buttoned detailing down to the satin train. It also had a beautiful detailed waist band and pockets, which was a real quirky selling point for me!
Ian wore a slim fit navy blue suit with matching waist coast and tie with a fresh white shirt. The suits were from Next. His shoes were black brogues, also from Next.
I looked for months at bridesmaid dresses and couldn’t make my mind up! In the end my sister, who was my maid of honour, ordered them online and surprised me one night with all my bridesmaids wearing them! The dresses were a simple, long, high-necked, maxi dress from BHS in a champagne colour. The dresses had a lovely detailed waist band which tied into my waist band. The groomsmen meanwhile all wore matching suits, shirts and tie to the groom.
We travelled in my Grandfather’s vintage Mercedes. My Grandad was thrilled when we asked him if we could use his car and if he would be our chauffeur for the day. Him and my Grandma went all out and dressed the car in bows and put flowers on the parcel self – they loved it! It was perfect!
Our photographer was Katie Sidell. She is absolutely brilliant and we can’t recommend her enough! Her pictures are so beautiful and natural. She managed to capture every precious moment of our special day from start to finish. The best part about Katie is that you don’t really notice she is there!! It was exciting to see the photographs as there were so many pictures that we hadn’t realised she had taken on the day. Aside from the photographs she is a really lovely person who made me, and particularly Ian, feel at ease with the camera and we do hope she will be free for a christening one day!
I carried a mixed bouquet of roses, carnations, lisianthus and gypsy, all in pale colours. The bridesmaids had something similar but on a smaller scale. The flowers where from a family friend called Nina Forbes, she is brilliant and knew exactly what I wanted!
Nina made the flower arrangements for the reception which stood on the top of some tall vases. The vases were then situated on round mirror plates that were dressed with chrome tea-light candle holders. We also dressed the room using four big flower arrangements from the church. Some of the ladies at church, including my two Grandma’s, made these arrangements up the day before and they were beautiful!
I have a very sweet tooth so as favours we filled jam-jars full of our favourite sweets! We then dressed the top of the jars in some vintage flower material and tied brown luggage labels around them with the guest’s name on. These then doubled up as place names.
A family friend Elaine Day made our cake. We had one layer Victoria sponge, another chocolate and another lemon drizzle. It was gorgeous.
For entertainment we used the resident DJ at the White Hart who was brilliant. He played a range of music had had everyone on the dance floor all night! Later he was on his way to a local club with four of the guests in a taxi at closing time!
We asked our guests to give us their favourite three songs to be played on our wedding day. We then used these songs to create a playlist for the wedding breakfast and a playlist for the DJ at night. This added a special touch to the day and night as people’s choices were played throughout the wedding letting them enjoy their favourite songs while we were enjoying our special day. In the evening it was also fun to name and shame some of the guests who had put some embarrassing choices on their top three – the DJ made sure they were pointed out and brought on the dance floor to our amusement!
The White Hart Inn is amazing and we would definitely recommend the venue to others! The service we received in the build up to the wedding and on the day was brilliant. It was like they couldn’t do enough for us! They were in regular contact and had even thought of things we hadn’t to make our day run smoothly. Having an attentive manager on hand at all times throughout the day was reassuring to us both that if there were any issues they were sorted out straight away. Both of us have and will continue to praise the venue, location, food and the experience we had to all our friend and people we know.
Our whole day was perfect from start to finish. We wish we could do it all over again! Ian particularly enjoyed seeing his best men (his uncle and his youngest brother) stand up for their speeches. Both were so nervous before the day (a few gin and tonics were drank before the speeches) but they both stood up and spoke in front of around 130 people. They did an amazing job with funny and embarrassing stories but Ian couldn’t have been more proud.
For our honeymoon we spent a week in Paris straight after the wedding and it was perfect. It was so romantic! We visited all the sites and spent our nights in swanky restaurants and bars. It was just a shame we had to come home as the reality hit that it was all over and we had to go back to work!
My top tips for other Brides Up North is to not stress about the planning and organising before the wedding. No matter what happens it will be absolutely perfect! Also, let your guests come to you! Don’t stand at the door welcoming guests and then saying goodbye to guests. It’s your special day and your guests will know to find you on the dance floor!
June 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Well what can we say about today’s wedding – it’s just so pretty! From the idyllic Lake District setting to the romantic styling and gorgeous wedding attire, we love it all!
Debra’s choice of a soft pastel palette for the décor, flowers and bridesmaid dresses works perfectly with the spring season and surrounding countryside, making for an incredibly elegant and romantic big day.
Here at Brides Up North we just love to see couples having fun with their wedding photography and so adore the mix of documentary and staged shots from Richard and Debra’s special day (particularly the ones of the maids with the giant balloons – how fabulous are they!)
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Helen Russell Photography.
debra says: We got engaged at Gleneagles on 22nd April 2012. Richard had booked a surprise weekend away. I had no idea! The day we arrived we used the spa and had a bite to eat. Later, we got dressed ready for dinner and took a walk in the grounds. Richard proposed to me by the fountain, and I said yes! It was lovely. When we went back inside we were taken to a reserved table where Richard had arranged for a special bottle of champagne to be waiting for us, then we ate dinner in the restaurant and celebrated with some cocktails afterwards. We enjoyed a very special time at Gleneagles. For me, it was one of the most memorable and happy weekends of my life!
We got married on 25th May 2015. We both liked the idea of getting married in Bowness in The Lake District as it’s a place that we have frequently visited since we started dating almost eight years ago. As we both love spring time we decided on a date in May. Timing it on a bank holiday also allowed our family and friends more time to travel to The Lake District and we thought it would be more relaxing for everyone.
Our chosen wedding venue was Linthwaite House in Bowness-on-Windermere. We chose our venue as it’s located in the area we have been visiting regularly since we met. Linthwaite House is in a truly beautiful setting with stunning views over Lake Windermere and we were fortunate to be able to take over the hotel and exclusively use it for our wedding. Linthwaite House offered everything we were looking for and we felt it was the idyllic, intimate wedding venue for us to enjoy with all of our guests.
We didn’t have a particular theme, although I’d say our wedding style was romantic and elegant. My flowers were made up with a range of different roses in soft pastel shades and featured David Austin roses. Other little details such as the vintage postcards, signage and table plan I made myself with the help of my mam and sister added to the feel of the day. To introduce a bit of sparkle I wore a diamante headpiece and cuff. The bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes also had a hint of sparkle and they each wore diamante slides, earrings and bracelets.
Our colour scheme was made up of soft pastel colours, mainly soft spring greens and pale pinks, purely because I wanted it to look clean, fresh and romantic.
My dress was by Justin Alexander and I purchased it from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. I chose the dress because it was elegant and I loved how the fabric felt. It was a fitted ivory duchess satin dress which tailed out slightly at the bottom. I loved that it was plain and featured some subtle diamante details on the shoulders and a scoop back with buttons all the way down the chapel length train. I also wore a plain chapel length veil which I loved. My shoes were by Rainbow and were very plain mid-heeled ivory court shoes. It all felt lovely on and I was very comfortable.
Richard wore a stylish three-piece suit, tie, socks and shoes from Reiss which we purchased in Leeds.
We booked the transport for me to get from Linthwaite House to the church and back through Lakeland Wedding Cars. I ordered an ivory coloured 1947 silver wraith.
Our photographer was the amazing Helen Russell! Richard already knew Helen and she was the first person we contacted regarding photography. We didn’t consider anyone else and I could not recommend Helen highly enough. She is friendly, professional and has a great eye. Helen is without a doubt an excellent photographer and I would assure any couple getting married that she is brilliant at what she does. I had 100 per cent confidence that Helen would capture our wedding day perfectly in the images she’d create, and she did just that.
Kerry at The Floristry in Kendal provided all of the flowers at our wedding and she was great! My four bridesmaids and I carried bouquets. These were made up of soft country pastel peonies, hydrangea and David Austin roses. My flower girl carried a pomander made up of similar flowers. Richard wore a button hole made up of peony, hydrangea plus greenery and the groomsmen wore smaller versions with foliage. The mum’s wore corsages in the same flowers and colours.
Kerry provided eight table arrangements at our wedding reception which were made up with the same type of flowers that I carried in my bouquet. The table arrangements were displayed in glass stands with some flowers overflowing. Kerry also provided a fresh floral display for the newel post in Linthwite House, fresh flowers for the top of our wedding cake and ribbons trails for the church gate. The church florist meanwhile provided soft clean pale coloured fresh flowers inside the church, which were mainly ivory roses.
The decorations at our wedding included wicker hearts which were placed in the entrance to the church and on the pew ends. We had paper pom poms in the trees and floral vintage bunting placed in and around the outside of the venue. I did a little DIY and made the confetti cones, the table plan, the table name cards, tags for the favours and other decorative signage.
The ladies favour was ‘a love nest’ – a set of miniature ceramic love bird salt and pepper shakers presented in a box. The men each had a miniature bottle of spirit and the junior guests had a Cadbury’s Freddo sweet tree and colouring books.
A friend made our delicious three-tier wedding cake which I designed myself using the same lace and ribbon which I used to create our ‘message in a bottle’ vintage themed wedding invitations. We chose three flavours, fruit for the bottom tier, lemon sponge in the middle and chocolate on the top. Delicious!
Canapes were served upon our arrival at the Linthwaite House with celebratory drinks of prosecco. For our wedding breakfast we had pea and smoked Cumbrian ham risotto topped with a crispy hens egg to start, roast sirloin of beef, fondant potato, mushroom duxelle, onion puree in a red wine jus for main and baked lemon tart with raspberries and raspberry sorbet for dessert. To finish the meal we had coffee and petit fours, which included salted caramel, peppermint cream, dark chocolate and pecan nut fudge. On the evening we had hot bacon and sausage baps and the wedding cake was also served during this time.
To provide entertainment we chose a local North East band called The Rattlers, who travelled from Sunderland to play at our wedding. We then had local a DJ in the evening named DJ Travis who was recommended to us by Linthwaite House. We also had a wedding wishing tree and small sweet buffet during the evening reception.
Others suppliers we used that we would recommend are Imelda Lantern, who provided our tea lights for the tables, and Balloons in the Lakes, who supplied some large ivory balloons to be used as photo props. These were excellent!
The entire day was perfect but leaving the church as Mr and Mrs was definitely our favourite part. We thoroughly enjoyed the photography too as it allowed us to spend some precious time on our own and reflect on our special day together.
For our honeymoon we went to California. It was amazing! We travelled to San Francisco and on the first day cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, which was fantastic. We then hired a car there and drove onto Pebble Beach where Richard played golf. I walked around the course with him as the scenery was so incredibly beautiful. Our next destination was Los Angeles, which is where I found out that we were expecting a baby (Freddie was born on 8th February 2015 weighing 8lb 0.5oz and is just perfect – we are completely besotted with him). After a few days we drove onto San Diego and finished up in Las Vegas. All excellent places and well worth a visit. A very memorable holiday to top off our wedding. It was all a truly magical experience.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the lead up to your wedding as it is all part and parcel of your special day. Take your time when making your choices and decisions and most of all trust your own judgement. It’s amazing to see everything come together. On the day, relax and take it all in. It’s the most wonderful day of your lives.
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May 25th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Often when tying the knot a couple will return back to their family roots for the big day, but today’s couple saw their wedding as an opportunity to showcase the city they now call home to their family and friends.
We love that this stylish city centre celebration takes place in a number of different locations, providing contrasting backdrops to David and Emma’s big day. Following the ceremony at Manchester’s grand Town Hall the wedding party moved onto a canal side bar before heading to the contemporary Castlefield Rooms for the evening reception. And of course they travelled in style, aboard a vintage bus.
This sounds like our kind of wedding!
With images by our talented Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in York in November 2013. York is a great city and a special place for us. It is where we went on one of our first dates and many days out and weekends away since. I was a total surprised when David decided to propose before a gorgeous meal in a lovely hotel. Spreading the news was tricky though as the idyllic setting meant no phone signal!
We chose the 21st of March 2015 for our wedding day. We didn’t want to jump in before my sister who was getting married in November, didn’t want a winter wedding and also couldn’t wait to get married! So we decided on the very first day of spring. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, beautiful sunshine, no wind or rain and nice and warm. Many guests commented that Manchester was supposed to be rainy and made our top table name of ‘Rainy Wedding’ slightly ironic.
Neither of us are from Manchester, I’m from the Ribble Valley and David is from Newcastle, but Manchester is where we have decided to make our home together and we wanted to showcase the city to our family and friends on our wedding day.
We married at the spectacular Manchester Town Hall. We knew we were having a civil ceremony and didn’t want any old hotel room. We only viewed the Town Hall for our ceremony, when we walked inside we were bowled over by the grandeur and atmosphere and decided straight away it was our perfect venue! We contrasted the grandeur of the Town Hall with a more relaxed, contemporary and modern feel for our reception at Dukes 92 and the Castlefield Rooms. A great area to showcase Manchester with the canals and barges, especially when we were lucky enough to have the sun shining as it was!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say we had a theme, but we certainly tried to embrace Manchester. I walked down the aisle to a string trio playing One Day Like This by Elbow and David wore a little Bee lapel pin, hidden next to his buttonhole – the worker bee being the symbol of Manchester and it features in the elaborate mosaic floors of the Town Hall, representing the work ethic of the people of Manchester particularly during the industrial revolution.
We also incorporated family heritage by having roses that represented England and thistles representing Scotland within our flowers. Our table names were paintings by either artists we liked or of paintings we liked, they either had a meaning behind them or story attached to them.
Our colour scheme was navy, pale pink, pale silvers and ivory. By choosing thistles early on we thought we would continue the dark blue theme, however we offset this with pale pinks to soften it and to ensure everything didn’t look too nautical. The two offset each other perfectly and the flowers tied everything together with the variety of colours, textures and varieties.
I chose a gorgeous A-line dress with touches of sparkle from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. I didn’t have a dress in mind and promptly tried on ever shape dress to help narrow it down. I ended up finding four dresses at The Bridal Path that I loved and the difficulty then was not finding my perfect dress but choosing which my perfect dress was! I felt fantastic on the day!
David wore a three piece slim fitted navy suit. After looking everywhere he found exactly what we were looking from in Next. This looked really smart. It was worn with a crisp white, double-cuff shirt with Hugo Boss cufflinks and pale pink slim tie and silver tie pin and a light pink pocket square. The tie and pocket square came from Swagger&Swoon.co.uk. I gave David a silver pocket watch and chain engraved with a personal message as a gift which was worn on the wedding day and looked great with his waistcoat
The groomsmen all wore the same matching slim fit three piece suit, tie and pocket square as the groom but without the extras. The boys looked great. The bridesmaids meanwhile wore gorgeous long dark blue dresses from Debut at Debenhams.
For transport we hired a bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company. This was a gorgeous vintage black and ivory bus which they had decorated with white ribbons. A plaque inside the bus stated where the bus was made, which coincidentally was not far from where I grew up in Blackburn. The bus took me, my parents, and bridesmaids from the Marriott Victoria and Albert to the ceremony and then the guests from the Town Hall to the reception at Dukes 92 and The Castlefield Rooms. It was a sunny day and the wedding bus outside the Town Hall really drew a crowd.
Photographer James Tracey was there to capture our day. James was amazing, not just on the day but from our first meeting. He is a pleasure to be around and such a nice guy. If you are spending all day with someone this is a massive bonus. On top of this he is a great photographer too. He totally understood what we wanted and provided us with great pictures which also embraced the urban backdrop of Manchester city centre. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!
Our flowers were provided by Frog Flowers. We had a consultation with David at his studio and went through our colour scheme and feel for the day, we were set on roses and thistles and agreed that we would also like varied flowers with lots of textures. The Frog team didn’t let us down, the bouquets, button holes and table centres were not only beautiful, and even better than we had imagined, but also smelled fantastic (not something we had considered).
Frog Flowers provided all our flowers at our wedding and we managed to re-use the flowers from our ceremony as the top table centrepiece by taking it on the bus with us. Other small decorations came from our home, hurricane lanterns with pillar candles, candle sticks and wooden letters. Castlefield provided a gorgeous white letter box!
We gave everyone a little jar of sweets as favours. We personalised the jar lids with labels, decorated them with ribbon and a homemade ‘Love is Sweet’ tag, which included a thank you message on the back. We chose some of our favourites sweets to fill them with.
Elaine of Elaine’s Creative Cakes in Urmston, Manchester, made our cake. We wanted the cake to be fairly minimal with sharp clean modern lines, surprisingly this is achieved using the less modern and more traditional royal icing. We designed a four tier cake with Elaine, alternating fruit cake and sponge. Both tasted absolutely gorgeous and Elaine even surprised us with our own personal boxed cake, which was left on the top table and was a lovely surprise on the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the menu tasting at Albert’s Shed prior to the wedding and I think anything we chose would have gone down well! Our dessert was a selection of tarts and a cheese board served to the table for guests to share. This is a fantastic option that Castlefield offer, providing an alternative for those without a sweet tooth whilst allowing everyone on the table to dig in.
Mixing old with new and traditional with contemporary, we asked a string trio from Endymion to play modern songs on strings at the Town Hall as guests were arriving, during the ceremony and at our drinks reception. These guys are fantastically talented, I only wish I heard more (a downside of arriving last).
For the evening we hired a DJ from Jonny Ross Music, who was recommended by Castlefield. The DJ was superb and had everyone dancing all night, he really knew how to judge the crowd and the music was fantastic!
As a special touch on the big day we had a signature perfume and aftershave, which is now our ‘wedding scent’. The sense of smell is a great way of evoking memories and we have decided we will wear this on special occasions like anniversaries as a nice reminder of our special day!
Other businesses that contributed to our wedding day was Erica and Edwards Jewellers in Manchester who made my ring. They were super patient and offered a really personal service. Also Sian Gorton did mine and the other girls’ hair and make-up on the day, it was no mean feat getting us all ready in the morning single handed! She was totally calm and good company during the wedding prep. It sounds clichéd but we all felt like a million dollars!
We would 100 per cent recommend our venues to others. As far as the city centre of Manchester is concerned there is nowhere else we would consider. The Town Hall requires no hard sell. Once you walk in you are literally blown away. It is a fascinating and historical building that will stand forever as a reminder of our day. The Castlefield Rooms is contemporary and modern and is an idyllic city centre location – they are incredibly professional and experienced at organising and running weddings. The day ran like absolute clockwork and was completely stress free as we knew everything was taken care of and in hand. On top of that the food is fantastic!
It is so hard to choose a favourite part of the day, however, one particular funny moment was during the vows. Many will know one of the statements that has to be made is; ‘I know not any reason why I ____ may not be lawfully married to ____’. We knew it was coming, but as a Geordie when David said ‘wye aye’ the ripple of laughter was fab!
Straight after our wedding we took ourselves off to a log cabin Keldy Forest. It was perfect – zero phone signal and the wildlife and nature were fascinating, with deer walking beside the cabin morning and night. We spent the days in our personal hot tub and evening in front of the log fire. It was a perfect chilled week after what was a busy weekend! Our main honeymoon is in June; we are off to Dubai and Mauritius and can’t wait!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do exactly what you want to do, choose what is special to both you and the groom. Our day was exactly as we imagined and couldn’t have been more perfect for us. Another tip would be to make sure you surround yourself with suppliers and people that you get on with, that you can rely on and that you trust, this makes the planning and the day much more stress free and a lot more fun!
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May 13th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride Ashleigh didn’t want just one shade or her colourful wedding day so instead decided to add depth and interest with gorgeous tones of red, purple and Brides Up North favourite – hot pink!
But it isn’t just the flowers that standout – what an incredibly good looking wedding party! Mark looks the model groom in his dapper blue suit and tan brogues while the maids are pretty in pink with their striking floral headpieces. And then there’s the star of the show Ashleigh, who wore a stunning Ellis gown and glam makeup.
Prepare to get well jel!
With images by Little Miss Boyco Photography.
ashleigh says: We got engaged in Portugal on Mark’s birthday, 13th June 2012. We were on a very quiet beach when Mark asked me to go in the sea, I was reluctant as it was very cold but he jumped straight in. I was standing on the water’s edge when he dived out of the sea, with the ring in his pocket, and got down on one knee. As we had just bought our first home it was completely unexpected. We made our way back up to our apartment as I was too excited and wanted to call my family and friends. Mark had champagne waiting for us for when we got back from the beach.
After visiting various venues in the North East I fell in love with Close House. We set our date originally for March 2015. A few weeks later after paying our deposit we were asked to move our date forward as Close House were closing after October 2014. We chose 10th October 2014.
We got married at Holy Trinity Church, Seghill. This is the church my grandparents got married at in 1953. The daytime was spent in Close House and our evening venue was the golf house, No.19. Close House is very grand with large fireplaces and gorgeous chandeliers compared to No.19 which is very modern. This gave two different themes and separated the daytime to an evening party.
I didn’t want a certain colour theme. Originally I chose very pale, pastel colours for my flowers, but when the date changed I decided darker colours would better suit the time of year. The golf house is mainly decorated in red. I wanted the flowers for the tables to tie in with the colour of the room. Therefore my flowers were red, purples and hot pink. I knew from the beginning I didn’t want one certain shade of colour as a ‘theme’.
I knew I wanted my dress to be a little different as most brides do. I chose a fish tail Ellis dress with a cut out back. After ordering my dress we realised it was the same brand of dress my mother wore. I originally wanted a strapless dress but decided on a dress with long lacy sleeves with satin buttons. With the wedding now being October a sleeved dress would be practical for the weather. My dress was bought in New Beginnings, Whitley Bay.
Mark won a suit by T.M Lewin, for being ‘best dressed male’ at Newcastle races in 2013. As he had the choice of a free suit, shirt, tie and cufflinks, we decided he would use this for his wedding suit. He chose a bright blue suit, white shirt and blue tie and was a perfect fit.
We used Mark’s suit and matched the colour with a range of slim fit suits from Next for the groomsmen.
For the bridesmaids I originally wanted them to have different dresses but struggled to find five to go together. I decided to have my sister and cousin in short dresses and my three friends in long dresses from the same range in Coast.
Our photographer, Wiesia Bojko of Little Miss Boyco Photography, was recommended by one of my bridesmaids. We met over a coffee and I love the relaxed feel she has to her work. I didn’t want a photographer to take up a lot of the day taking group photographs. I prefer more natural shots, catching people enjoying themselves. I would definitely recommend her work.
My flowers were from the Flower Cabin in Seaton Delaval. I went in with an idea and a few pictures and the girls created exactly what I wanted. For my something old I used my Grandma’s earrings, which were bought for her by my Granddad on their 60th wedding anniversary. They had dark purple stones which added depth to my flowers. My bouquet had unusual flowers which felt like velvet. I had a structured bouquet bound with lace. My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of mine with a lighter purple through. The bridesmaids also has fresh flowers in their hair, positioned on an oversized comb.
For the wedding reception we had eight tables for the guests. We had four large candelabras with pearls draped over and a wreath of flowers surrounded by candles. The other four tables had low smaller wreaths with the flowers from the Flower Cabin, but made by my grandma. I used the same decorations for the tables for the evening. The top table was covered in different styles of glass jars and candles filled with flowers.
The favours were chocolates made by The Chocolate Smiths. For the ladies I had white chocolate with champagne and strawberry filling, heart shaped lollies with ‘10/10/14’ piped on the front. The men had chocolate and salted caramel lollies some with popcorn pieces. Mark’s niece the flower girl filled her goody bag with most of the guests’ lollies!
The entertainment was singer Glen Roughead. We first saw Glen performing at a wedding fair in Newton Hall. We booked him straight after. We continued to follow his work leading up to the wedding going to various gigs around the North East. He’s a lovely lad with a great talent. He played three acoustic sets during the time the guests arrived to Close House.
For our first dance we chose an acoustic version of Little Things by One Direction. We knew we didn’t just want to stand on the dance floor so three weeks before we decided to go for some lessons. Newcastle dance centre is where we went, and with our instructor Michael we made up a two minute routine to get us around the floor. This was my mother’s favourite part of the wedding as we kept it a surprise.
After getting married on the Friday, my parents had an after party on the Sunday at their house. We were blessed with good weather all weekend and this continued the wedding right over the weekend. We laughed about the wedding and looked at pictures from the day. We packed our cases on the Monday and left for a two-week honeymoon to Mexico on the Tuesday morning.
As an engagement gift I was given a wedding planning book. This was used throughout planning and organising the wedding so I kept everything together. It was an invaluable tool and I would encourage other Brides Up North to get one and do the same, keeping all receipts and leaflets in one place.
May 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s loved-up couple gave their guests a taste of the big apple by theming their wedding around New York following their engagement in the city.
To help pull their American dream together John and Sohaila called on the skills of their friends and family, which resulted in some extra special touches being added along the way.
So in the words of Alicia Keys – let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York!
With images by Jon Bird Photography.
sohaila says: John proposed at Brooklyn Heights on 7th December 2014. Going to New York was my life ambition and I think he knew it was the best opportunity he was ever going to get! The day was perfect – the sun was shining, I had New York in front of me and even though it’s a popular tourist spot, in the moment he chose to get down on one knee there was no-one there! He was lucky I didn’t find the ring beforehand, which he’d kept in the hotel room safe all week!
We got married on the 21st March 2015. I was quite keen to get the ball rolling so we worked out how long we’d need to save up a decent budget and settled on March so that it gave people time to recover from Christmas (as we know weddings are expensive for guests too). We didn’t really think about the weather as in Lancaster it rains just as much in summer as it does any other time of year!
We got married at the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster. Since we moved to Lancaster we have loved this building and we couldn’t think of a more perfect wedding venue. Not only is it a stunning building but from its position (on the top of a big hill) you get amazing views over Lancaster, Morecambe and the Lake District. The venue is situated in Williamson Park which has some lovely areas – perfect for photos! For our reception we picked The View at the University of Cumbria.
As I have a bit of an obsession with New York and as that was where we got engaged I knew we had to have a bit of a NY theme. I didn’t want it OTT or tacky…so it was a ‘no’ to John’s suggestion of a life sized Statue of Liberty(!) but we did have: custom made skyline place cards, NYC landmark table names, Million Dollar Chocolate Bars for favours, NYC themed photo booth props and an American mailbox for the cards!
Our colour scheme was black, gold and pink. It came to me one day after hours of browsing Pinterest. I don’t think I came across anything that was exactly what I wanted – it was more of a combination of a few things.
I went for a mermaid shaped dress. I always thought that would be the style I’d go for but was prepared to end up with something completely different as everyone has said this is what happens! I tried on everything from skin tight fishtail dresses (how anyone manages to walk in these I do not know) to a big puffed out princess dress (I tried it on for a laugh but actually loved it). I found ‘the one’ in The Wedding Dress & Prom Dress Bridal Factory Outlet in Stockport. It was a lovely little shop with hundreds of beautiful dresses averaging around £500. I didn’t even dare step foot in an expensive boutique. I knew if I did I would more than likely find a dress I loved but I just couldn’t justify spending thousands on a dress I’d only wear once.
Neither of us are keen on the traditional morning suits so John went for a modern, grey two piece from Next. He wore this with a dark pink tie and pocket square to suit the colour scheme.
We were very relaxed when it came to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable and we were conscious of the fact that one style does not always look good on all!
The bridesmaids were asked to find pink/nude coloured dresses with lots of sparkle and groomsmen were simply asked to find a grey suit. We really liked the idea of mismatched outfits as I had seen a lot of examples of this (again on Pinterest) and thought it looked great. Luckily for us, all the outfits came together perfectly on the day – even though we had not seen them altogether beforehand! The bridesmaids dresses were from Debenhams, Miss Selfridge and Next.
On the wedding day Jen Ferguson Makeup made me, my mum and my bridesmaids feel beautiful by working her magic on us in the morning. The makeup was gorgeous and I don’t think I touched mine all day/night – it was great!
We live a couple of minutes away from our ceremony and reception venues so I could not justify spending £500-£600 on a nice car to take me up the road! Luckily my uncle is a private hire driver and kindly offered to dress up his shiny new Mercedes and be our chauffeur. As all our guests were travelling from West Yorkshire or further we opted to give them a helping hand when they got here by hiring a coach for the day. This was used to get guests from the hotel, to the ceremony, to the reception then back to the hotel at the end of the night. Everyone thought it was a great idea and we were really pleased with the service from Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire.
Our photographer was Jon Bird. We came across him on Facebook when one of our friends ‘liked’ his page. At the time he was only doing child shoots and hadn’t done any weddings but I liked the quality of the pics I saw so asked for a quote. As he was just getting into photography, the price was fantastic and we saw a lot of potential in his photos. Jon developed a lot over the following year and the photos he captured of our day completely blew us away. They were stunning. He made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and that really showed in the photos. We would 100 per cent recommend Jon – and he’s only going to get better with time!
My bouquet was beautifully made by my mum out of pink and purple silk flowers with lots of pretty brooches in and amongst to add sparkle! I originally opted for silk flowers to save on costs – in the end it was pretty much the same price as real ones but better as I get to keep it!
I was quite reluctant to spend lots of money on real flowers that would die in a few days so apart from the parents’ gifts we didn’t use any! All our flower arrangements and bouquets were beautifully arranged in silk flowers by my mum.
Events by Design UK supplied our floor length black table cloths and gold glitter runners along with white chair covers with black bows. They also provided all our beautiful gold, black and pink heart shaped balloons which we used to line the long corridor and to decorate the sweet table.
For centrepieces we used lovely birdcage tea light holders (which we bought from Matalan) and decorated with pink rose garlands from Sass & Belle.
The most standout piece of decor we had was the large light up ‘love’ letters supplied by Typical Type. They were definitely the main focal point and made some brilliant photos! We also hired a full length mirror from them (which also had light bulbs all around it) which looked fabulous and came in very handy!
As our reception venue wasn’t the hotel I opted to set up a toiletries table in the ladies with everything they could possibly need to freshen up! Deodorant, hairbrush, chewing gum, safety pins, wipes, hair spray, clips etc. We also put some in the men’s but it was a slightly smaller selection of – combs, hair gel, deodorant etc. It was well used and a lot of our female guests told me how grateful they were for it!
We set up the venue with the help of our bridesmaids, ushers and best man the night before the wedding. We had so much fun doing it and the sense of achievement was great. That is really when the excitement started – I couldn’t wait for our guests to see it!
Our beautiful wedding cake was made by my mum. After many taster sessions we decided on four flavours, one for each tier: red velvet with white chocolate filling, Victoria sponge, lemon and blueberry cake and orange cake with a raspberry meringue filling. It had the NY skyline on the bottom tier and was topped with handmade pink peonies made out of icing. I even found a cake topper replica of the famous New York ‘love’ sculpture on Etsy! My mum also added a touch for the groom – Yoda’s head sticking out of the back of the cake! He loved it.
After the ceremony our guests we served a variety of savoury and sweet canapés which we bought from M&S. These were served with my favourite sparkling Rose by Mondelli. For the wedding breakfast the guests chose from a variety of starters, mains and desserts which were served with a Chardonnay-Semillon white wine and also Barfefoot White Zinfandel Rose. In the evening guests were served a buffet of paninis, sausage/bacon sandwiches and a selection of cold snacks.
For entertainment we hired a DJ in the evening, booked through PartyU. We gave them a list of all the songs we definitely wanted playing and let the DJ fill in the gaps.
Robin Grenville-Evans (a cartoonist, known as ‘Evsie’) was present for the whole of the reception. I met him through work and was so impressed with his work we booked him for the wedding. The guests loved him. He also did a large portrait and me and John with a scroll effect on either side for our guests to write on. It looks great!
We also had a photo booth from Startrax Photo Booth Hire for three hours in the evening. The staff were great and our guests had loads of fun with the NY themed props we provided. Guests got a copy of their picture and we were handed an album at the end with a copy of each photo and also a CD with them all on. So much fun – definitely recommended!
On our special day it was also a special day for our niece (and flower girl) who turned three the same day! During the speeches, John got everyone to sing happy birthday to her and her face when her princess carriage cake got brought out was priceless.
It was also a special day for a second reason for my dad. He is Iranian and Iranian New Year happened to fall on the 21st March this year. We therefore set up a traditional ‘Haft Sin’ table for him which he really appreciated – especially as our Iranian family were unable to make it over to enjoy this day with us.
We would definitely recommend The View at the University of Cumbria as a venue for any party. On a daily basis the room is used as a canteen so when we went to view the place it was very hard to imagine how it could look dressed up!
The back wall of the room consists of floor to ceiling windows which provide a stunning view over Lancaster, Morecambe and the Lake District which is what really sold it to us. Once cleared, the room is a large, empty, black canvas which we could do what we wanted with. Although at times I regretted it as I struggled to try think of ways to decorate the vast empty room, in the end I am so glad we chose it as it allowed us to add so many personal touches. In the end the staff were fantastic, the room looked great, the food was delicious and the bar was well stocked – and cheap!
To avoid the Easter holidays we decided to book a delayed honeymoon which we are going on in April. New York (of course) then on to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. After the wedding we went off on a two-night minimoon to Edinburgh.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to organise as much as you can by yourself. It’s such an achievement and apart from the odd bit of stress it’s so much fun to do! It also allows you include lots of personal touches which made it all more special to us. Also, take advantage of the skills and talents of family members and friends – you’ll save loads of money and most likely they will enjoy giving you a helping hand with your big day!
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