August 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Jen and Jonny’s fun and fresh, 50′s themed, DIY wedding at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, the KP Club, is just what the doctor ordered to get us through Tuesday morning. And hey, don’t forget it’s a bank holiday weekend coming up… win,win or what?!
Be bright, be beautiful.
With images by SDS Photography.
Jennifer says: We got engaged on New Years Eve 2010, in Disneyland, Paris! Jonny proposed in one of the few quiet spots in Disney (in the Swiss Family Robinson tree house!) where we had a great view of Cinderella Castle, all lit up.
We were married on 21st June 2014. We chose this date because it was the first day of British summertime, and also the longest day of the year.
We got married in the village church where Jonny grew up (St Catherine’s Church, Barmby Moor, York), which was only a few miles from where I grew up. We both live in the South now, so it was lovely to travel home for a few days to see our friends and family. The vicar who Jonny grew up with had long since retired, but agreed to come back and perform the ceremony for us.
The reception venue was the KP Club, a few miles from the church. It is in the town where we went to secondary school (Pocklington) – which is where we they first met! It has beautiful views over the Yorkshire wolds.
We would definitely recommend the KP Club. At first we were unsure whether we could make the place unique, but we certainly did! It is a (beautiful) blank canvas for you to do whatever you want with, but would also look amazing without decorations! It was very spacious (we had the whole top floor, with two rooms and a bar area) but still felt very intimate. There were huge windows with views over the golf course, and the Yorkshire wolds. The staff were very helpful and pleasant and everything ran so smoothly. There are even lodges on the site where guests could stay over without worrying about travel. We both stayed in a honeymoon suite which had a hot tub!
We orginally planned on a 1950s theme – primarily because we both love Frankie & Bennys! My wedding dress was based on a 1950s, Grace Kelly style and the bridesmaid dresses were also very 50s. We had music playing by ‘The Baseballs’ who are a modern band but their style is very much in that era.
We opted for a colour palette of sea green and pinks. We wanted a colour that wasn’t too girly and was less common in weddings, so we went for the turquiose colour. Pale and hot pinks went with it really well, and after finding the bridesmaid dresses to match, it was perfect!
I am a graphic designer and lovs crafty things, so handmade a lot of the wedding. I made a seating plan out of wooden pegs, which I put each guest’s name on and allowed them to take theirs home at the end of the night.
We are also grateful to have such talented friends and family who helped us out and made sure the wedding was personal. It was also important to us to make them all feel involved in the wedding and had a part to play.
My dress was from Wedding Warehouse, a shop in Leeds which sells ex-wedding fayre dresses. They were a year ahead in terms of style, so my dress will be available to buy in 2015. I tried on a few first that I thought were what I was after (long lace sleeves, high neck) but I felt I looked too old in them all! I went back into the room and there was one hanging up, out of its bag. It was nothing like what I was looking for (very big and princess-like!) but my best friend told me to try it on, so I did. I went home to think it over, and decided I had to back and get it! It was all lace, with little lace cap sleeves and a keyhole back (very beautiful, which is why I decided to have my hair swept to the side to show it off!). It puffed out from just below the waist, with beautiful delicate lace all over the skirt. My full length veil was borrowed from my sister from her wedding, which went perfectly with my dress.
My bridesmaids wore 1950s style rockabilly dresses with a lovely turquoise and pink floral pattern – bought from Amazon from a seller called bluemagik. The bridesmaids were different shapes and sizes but the style looked great on them all. They each wore their own shoes which were different colours – we just wanted them to feel comfortable! One of the bridesmaids Kath, who is also one of my sisters, handmade little pink paper roses – some of which the bridesmaids had in their hair. I also gave each of them a handbag bought from Ebay, personalised with each of their initials on.
The bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets were put together by my bridesmaids. They just had bunches of baby’s breath (gypsophila) tied together with ribbon, and I had baby’s breath with flowers from a family friend’s garden (including pink roses and peonies).
Our photographers were Sarah-Jane & Simon, from SDS Photography. We would hugely recommend them, because they were just perfect. They have the skills to make amazing photos, but also the creativity to try new things and make sure your wedding is truly unique. Their attention to detail is exceptional, and their incredible efficiency meant that the formal group photos were over so quickly (a relief for everybody!) They completely understand that everybody is different. We didn’t want any awkward poses or generic wedding photos, but we didn’t even have to tell them – they just seemed to know what was ‘us’. We wanted a ‘pretty, informal’ style and they nailed it. They captured expressions we didn’t know we’d made and hugs we didn’t know we’d given.
In the church, I put other flowers from the garden in painted bean cans, and in paper cones (made from wallpaper samples) on the end of the pews. A lovely old lady in the village started a flower arrangement for us, which my bridesmaid and I went to finish the day before the wedding, using flowers bought from the market and from friends’ gardens.
After the church ceremony we decided to have afternoon tea. It was lovely because it meant people could have nibbles and refreshments, so they weren’t too hungry waiting for the meal at 5pm! It also meant that people could stay and chat, including the vicar and organist, who don’t usually get to see guests. Family members made all the cakes, including my mum, Jonny’s mum and Jonny’s grandma. We had vintage tea cups and saucers laid out, and big drinks dispensers filled with pink lemonade.
Oringially we wanted a cake of different cheeses, but didn’t want the guests who like traditional wedding cake to be left out – so we had both! My mum made the fruit cakes, and Jonny’s mum made sponge cakes and decorated the whole cake. She handmade peonies made from icing using our wedding colours, and cascaded them down the cake. My best friend Claire made two little birds out of clay to go on the top – it was perfect! We then had a cake of cheeses brought out in the evening (we both love cheese!).
For our favours, we gave out jars of goodies! They were filled with homemade strawberry jam, rhubarb jam, apple chutney and gooseberry chutney which me and my mum made. I made labels for each one and tied fabric around the top. Each guest was given a sticker with their name on, which they were to stick to a jar of their choice.
As a secret wedding present, I bought Jonny a pair of personalised Converse All Stars, which I gave to him on the day. I also got a pair for myself (of course) which matched the wedding colour scheme! We each had their new surname on (Ledger) and we put them on in the evening so we could dance the night away! (very comfy).
We didn’t really want to do a first dance – we love dancing, but not slow dancing (with everybody watching!). However, we both love music, so decided to write a song and perform it to the guests. It was called “When we’re old”, and had funny lyrics about what we’ll still be doing when we’ve been married for many years. As a further surprise, the band we hired for the evening (Move it like Friday) suggested providing backing music for us – which we accepted! They came in with drums and bass in the chorus – it was great!
We used Abbey Sound & Light, based in Selby, to hire our dancefloor and stage for the band. We would highly recommend them – mainly because we booked them very last minute, and they managed to sort us out with something! They’re very reasonably priced and were efficient delivering and collecting the items. The black and white checked dancefloor looked great!
Another thing which made the day very special was the arrival of our first niece, Olivia. My sister gave birth the day before the wedding, but still managed to make it to the ceremony with the baby! We had photographs taken with her, which will be lovely to look back on.
For our honeymoon, we went to Disneyworld, Florida! We both love theme parks (particularly Disney ones!) and having got engaged at Disneyland Paris, we felt it was appropriate We went for two weeks and alternated between the four main parks and waterparks. We were on a dining plan so got loads to eat – too much! Many burgers and chicken nuggets, but it was delicious. We each got a novelty hat – I got white Minnie Mouse ears with a veil attached, and Jonny got a Goofy hat with Micky ears (many people commented on how I had married Goofy!). We went on all our favourite rides, and I even got to meet my favourite character, Baloo!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning stage – don’t do too much at once, and don’t leave things to do on the day before or on the day! (like I did – eek!). Do ask friends and family for help – they love to feel involved.
And most of all, enjoy the day. Guests will have a good time no matter what, so just focus on the two of you making memories.
August 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
The spate of sunshine we’ve been having recently may have been interrupted with a few bleak breaks this week but this bright and beautiful wedding is guaranteed to inject a big boost of colour and happiness into your day.
Creative couple Tony and Katy tied the knot in the super city of Sheffield, starting off with their ceremony in the stunning Town Hall before moving onto the nearby Workstation for a fabulous afternoon tea and evening celebrations.
To really make the day their own they included lots of vibrant decorations, quirky homemade touches and beautiful blooms, all of which was captured perfectly by their talented photographer.
With images by Photography34
Katy says: We got engaged on New Year’s Day 2013. We had been to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party and Tony had taken the ring, but he couldn’t find the right moment when we were both alone. The following morning we both woke up early and Tony asked me what I was doing for the rest of my life as he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then produced my beautiful ring! I cried a little and then called the world.
We set the date for Saturday May 24th 2014. We wanted to get married over a Bank Holiday as we had lots of guests who would be travelling a distance so we were keen to make sure they had plenty of time to party and recover.
I think we must have viewed almost every venue in Yorkshire, but we couldn’t find anything which would allow us to create the different look and feel we were hoping for within our budget. We are both from Sheffield and love to city so when we found the Workstation which is part of the Showroom Cinema and met Mark the sales manager, it ticked all the boxes. He was so accommodating and because the venue is an exhibition centre he allowed us to dress it exactly how we wanted. We originally wanted to get married at the same place as our reception but this was not possible at the Workstation so we started to look for somewhere close by. We had walked past Sheffield Town Hall hundreds of times but had never been inside. Once we did we were blown away by how beautiful the building was, especially the fabulous staircase.
Very early on in our wedding planning I discovered Pinterest, and began pinning ideas to a mood board. We knew the venue was going to need a lot of dressing so we decided to hire someone to help with this. Jennie from Hansley Beard came highly recommended by our venue and she did a fabulous job of keeping me calm, my ideas focused and she planned the design to the finest detail, we could not have done it without her.
We knew we wanted to do things differently and we wanted the whole feel of the day to be bright, colourful, fun and homemade. We both like colour – our house is full of it. We originally found some bright material which we liked at The Range store, we used this as the basis for our colour scheme, they had paper, buttons etc all in the same collection which was great. Bright coloured ribbons and buttons then became the main theme throughout the wedding. We didn’t want a traditional wedding so decided that lots of bright colours would really help create a different atmosphere. We are so happy that we went with these colours in the end as our wedding day turned out to be raining and gloomy but the colours helped keep everyone bright and cheery!
I always knew that I wanted a fitted lace dress and I fell in love with Pippa, a Sassi Holford dress which was well over my budget. I searched the internet and to my complete amazement I found Silk Bridal in Litchfield selling a sample of this dress in my size. I would highly recommend this bridal shop – they made my wedding dress experience so memorable. Helen, the seamstress, could not do enough to help with my alterations and every time we visited the shop I was made to feel just as special as the last. My friend Serena, very kindly lent me her beautiful Jenny Packham headband for my something borrowed. I’m actually selling my dress it is currently listed on eBay and preloved. Although I will be very sad to see this dress go, it would give me great pleasure for another bride to have a chance to wear a fabulous Sassi Holford dress.
I knew that I didn’t want traditional bridesmaid dresses or anything too formal; I wanted something that they would wear again so they wore emerald green maxi dresses from Mango which were accessorised with belts from H&M. The best man wore a bright blue suit from Moss Bros and our page boy, my nephew, wore a little navy suit from Next, a homemade emerald green bow tie and some white Converse boots which he loved!
Tony’s mum’s friend made all the bouquets and button holes. I picked the flowers for these, along with the flowers for the venue, from the Parkway Flower Market in Sheffield. I had a hand-tied bouquet with bright flowers including Gerberas,Ranunculus, Gentian and Craspedia. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar, just a bit smaller. All the bouquets had ribbons hanging from the stems.
We both share a love for VWs, especially retro split screen camper vans and we knew that we couldn’t arrive any other way. We hired the stunning ‘Johnny’ from Something old Something New. As our venues were close together we were able to use the same van for the whole wedding party.
We were let down by a friend who was originally planning on doing our photography, very close to the wedding day. Tony at Photography34 was recommended to us and to our delight he was available on our date. Choosing Tony was the best decision we made, after getting married of course! He had a very relaxed, natural style and went above and beyond. He made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day. Our guests noted how hard he worked on the day. Most importantly he captured all the detail, fun and laughter of the day.
When we started planning we decided that we wanted things to be as personal as possible and make as much ourselves as we could. Having ‘Brown Owl’ as my mother-in-law-to-be made this a lot easier. Jennie from Hansley Beard helped us to create our desired look with lots of help from our bridesmaids, best man and friends. We had homemade bunting, pom poms, table numbers, seating plan, card box, paper covered jars as centre pieces. We also used fairy lights to decorate the mezzanine. We had bright coloured ribbons hanging from the back of all the chairs and a ribbon drop which cascaded from the mezzanine to the dance floor. I went to the Parkway Flower Market with Jennie, other than Gerberas which are my favourite flowers I wasn’t that particular, it was mainly the colours I was looking for. We incorporated all the flowers from the bouquets as well as Golden Glory, lime green and yellow bloom Chrysanthemums. Jennie then arranged all the flowers for the venue and centre pieces, and made these look great, she truly was amazing!
Tony’s mum and I made homemade rhubarb jam for our favours. The rhubarb was home grown in Tony’s dad’s allotment.
I love baking so the wedding cake was very important. We had a four-tiered cake covered with bright coloured hearts. The actual cake was striped coloured Victoria sponge with butter cream and made by Gemma at Iced Gems. We had two wooden birds with matching hearts as cake toppers which we got from Etsy.
We didn’t want to have a formal three-course wedding meal so we decided to have afternoon tea with prosecco for our wedding breakfast. In the evening we had pie and peas with plenty of Henderson’s relish!
The entertainment was really important to us, we wanted a big party with all our friends and family, and I love to dance. For our ceremony we had a friend, Rebecca Guy sing and play her guitar. As a wedding present my parents got Paul Pashley, Sheffield’s answer to Michael Bublé, to sing at our evening reception. Not only does he have an amazing voice, he was a little bit of eye candy for the ladies. We then had a DJ who played us into the early hours.
We did include quite a few special touches in our big day. Tony’s mum made a very cute ring cushion for Reuben, our page boy, in the same material as the bunting and sewed buttons all over it, he was very proud of his special job.
We hired some beautiful vintage crockery from Jameson’s Tearoom for the afternoon tea, and one of the highlights was their teacup glasses which we served the prosecco in.
We chose big illuminated ‘LOVE’ letters from Typical Type as a backdrop to our dance floor, and our homemade photo booth and they were the talk of all our guests. Once we had decided on the letters it helped us decide on our first dance – L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole sang by Paul Pashley.
We both share a love of sweets, so a sweet table was a must. We brought in our theme by laying the table with ribbons, we used the same paper we had used for the centre pieces for the sweet labels and homemade pin wheels, and then had bright coloured paper fans as the backdrop to the table.
I found a finger print poster tree from Etsy which was a wonderful alternative to a guest book. Our guests added their fingerprints as ‘leaves’ to the tree and wrote their names. We now have this framed and it acts as a daily reminder of our special day and the guests we shared it with.
My favourite part of the wedding day came at the end of our first dance. Jennie, who had helped us to design our wedding day, had arranged with our guests to drop all the off cuts from the ribbons from the mezzanine above the dance floor. This was a total surprise and the only thing throughout the day which we had not planned for. This was an amazing moment which Tony, our photographer, captured perfectly and we have used one of these images for our thank you cards.
We went on honeymoon two days after or wedding; we spent two days is Dubai and eight in the Maldives. Dubai was very hot and we packed in a lot within the two days; tours of the city and a dessert safari. Then the Maldives, which was absolute paradise, was the total opposite to Dubai, quiet and relaxing, which was exactly what we needed after the wedding.
My advice to other Brides Up North would be to do what makes you happy and have the day that you want, not what others expect of you. That is so important. You want to look back on your day and know that you had it exactly how you wanted it. It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t follow traditions or you think people won’t like your ideas, as long as you do, that’s all that matters. Tony’s advice would be at some point during the wedding breakfast, to go around each table and speak with your guests and thank them for coming, as it’s a very busy day and you don’t get chance to spend very much time with anyone. Our collective advice is to make sure you both take time together to have a few moments to take everything in as the day will go past so fast.
It rained for the most of our day, but like Louis Armstrong sang, we didn’t care what the weather man said, when the weatherman said it was raining as you didn’t hear us or anyone else complaining!
July 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
I’m all for making a wedding your own and that’s exactly what Keli and Pete did when they tied the knot (and their hands) at Windy Harbour Farm Hotel in the beautiful Peak District. The couple not only made their reception individual, but the ceremony itself too by having a secular service that reflected their journey to marriage as well as a handfasting with an elemental blessing.
The stunning outdoor setting gave way to carefree fun with the newlyweds and their guests enjoying garden games, afternoon tea and personalised beverages before burning up the dance floor in the evening.
One particular individual element that I adore about this wedding is that Pete had two best women! Breaking down yet another traditional wedding barrier, I think it’s fabulous that Pete asked those closest to him to fulfil the honourable role, regardless of their gender.
Keli said: We got engaged in the summer of 2011, the same summer we’d left our lives in London and gone travelling around England in a tent for three months. Pete and I had finally made it home, to my parents, where we would start to look for a new house and start building our new life up north.
We decided to take advantage of the last sunny day in September and go for a final walk in Castleton that included Mam Tor. Unfortunately our map reading skills were a little exhausted from the travelling all summer and we couldn’t seem to find the main path leading to the summit. So – fearful of never getting there – we turned off the beaten path and started up the side. Turns out we picked one of the steepest slopes to climb; we were exhausted and almost gave up halfway but Pete was persistent. When we got up there is was rather windy and rather crowded with people – which was not part of Pete’s plan – so we moved over the crest of the hill to sit out of the wind looking out over the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. After some lazy minutes Pete asked me to close my eyes, gave me a kiss and then produced the ring. I think my first response was “Are you sure?” And then lots of crying and laughing followed, and of course my answer, Yes!
Windy Harbour Farm Hotel was the first venue we visited and only because it was just up the road from our new home in Glossop, Derbyshire. However as soon as we walked in both of us were struck by how friendly and how right it felt. The size was perfect for the 50 to 80 guests we planned to invite and the garden area was beautifully kept, which was essential as we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony with our mixture of pagan and secular traditions. Our country fair theme would need to include things like hay bales and garden games so we were lucky to find owners who were not only happy for us to do all this, but also happy to source things like the hay bales for us.
We both wanted a ceremony that was unique and individual to us, more so than a church or civil ceremony can be. Added to that, I’m a Pagan and was determined to get married outside, surrounded by the natural world. We found Kate Gee, a Humanist celebrant who was happy to incorporate elements of Pagan ritual into a secular service that reflected our lives and the journey that had led us to the moment of marriage. We still exchanged rings and used vows similar to those in the Common Book of Prayer. We also had a handfasting with an elemental blessing, undertaken by one of our maids of honour. Everyone commented on how poignant and moving the ceremony was and we couldn’t have been happier with the way we were able to seal our marriage.
As soon as we picked the date in May we knew we’d have a May Day themed wedding. We both love the May Day holiday and spent many years travelling to Hastings and various other places to celebrate it. So we knew we wanted lots of ribbons, greenery, games and folk music; as you would find at a May Day festival. We didn’t have a particular colour theme but we did end up using dark ivy green as the main contrasting colour. We also used a simple bright blue, yellow and red combination to accent it all – these mostly popped up as ribbons.
I wore ‘Fadella’ by Cymbeline which I found at The White Room in Sheffield. It was nothing like the dress I’d imagined myself wearing to be wed but it was the one dress that made me feel like a bride. Being light and not too bulky it made perfect sense for the venue and the outdoors, informal nature of the whole day. In the end the lace matched Pete’s country suit perfectly and the small train meant it was great to dance in.
Pete wanted something that was quite ‘countryside’ and immediately thought of a tweed jacket which he ended up getting from Next. He wore it with a grey waistcoat and brown trousers from Debenhams. His tie was also from Next. The two fathers wore the same jacket and tie as Pete but created their own combos so they didn’t all look the same.
Although untraditional Pete had best women – Zoe and Lyvia, two of our closest friends from university. The two of them and Pete were a very close trio throughout our time there and they both coached him through a lot of good times, bad times and rather mad times. They wore navy blue dresses from Next with matching taupe shoes.
I knew from the start that I didn’t want lots of bridesmaids as choosing from all my friends and family would mean all the female guests would have ended up in the wedding party. Instead I asked two of my closest friends to be maids of honour on the agreement they would be available to help out with all the wedding planning and stop me from succumbing to the dreaded Bridezilla too often in the run up to the wedding. Their dresses proved very difficult to find, especially as they both live quite far away and work a lot and we had to take into account the two best men, who were also wearing dresses. In the end we found two light summer dresses in Dorothy Perkins and they were the perfect complement to my lace dress and the best womens’ navy blue dresses.
Having good photos was vital to our day and we were keen to find a photographer who would fit in with the whole event and not feel like an outsider. We wanted mostly informal shots and pictures that took in the beautiful landscapes around us. Jon Rouston provided all that and more, giving us relaxed shots of our guests enjoying themselves as well as glimpses of the day we never would have seen otherwise. He also created some gorgeous portraits of us using a variety of local landscapes.
July 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, 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.
I adore Keri and Tom’s beautiful wedding day. Every detail, from Keri’s gorgeous dress (that waist!) to their navy and lavender colour scheme, to the fact that their puppy Marvin came along too – in a bowtie no less – is gorgeous. Packed with personal touches, fun surprises and lots and lots of pretty, I hope you love it as much as I do.
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
Keri says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012. The ring was in my Christmas stocking that was hanging on the fireplace.
We were married on 03.03.14 at Mitton Hall in Clitheroe. It was my Nan’s birthday so the date was very special to the family.
We walked in to the entrance lobby and were in awe of how incredible it looked. The whole place and staff were so inviting and after a tour around and chat with Victoria the wedding planner we knew it was the venue for us. We knew it was as soon as we walked in.
I chose a Stewart Parvin Dress called ‘Luck be a Lady’ from Aphrodite in Knutsford. It was a dress that I didn’t even plan on trying on. Terry who owned the shop said I should try it and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one! I tried it on with a lace bolero and a beautiful band around my waist and it became even more perfect! Tom wore a suit from Gieves & Hawkes and shirt from TM Lewin.
Our wedding had a couple of themes! Our wedding was quite rustic; hand decorated jars with twine, lace and hessian filled with lavender, gypsy grass, potpourri and tea lights decorated the tables resting on hessian runners and chopped circular wood. Lavender was a key part of this theme as it was my Nan’s favourite scent. We also incorporated America into our wedding as we met at a Camp in Pennsylvania,New York in 2010. We even made our America theme rustic with old postcards, a map as our table plan and faded American flags on our American sweet table!
We had a memory table with framed pictures of close family members who couldn’t be with us on our wedding day. Next to the table, on a blackboard we wrote ‘Because someone we love is in heaven, there is a little bit of heaven here today’. We also made a donation box where all the money donated went to Alzheimer’s Research UK. If you wanted to donate you could take a jar from the table home with you.
We honestly can’t decide on a favourite part; we wouldn’t change one thing about our day. Everything that we planned, all our family and friends around us, everyone enjoying themselves made our day truly special to us
Charlene at Love Gets Sweeter made our wedding film. I don’t understand why some people don’t think the video is important! I felt as happy as I did on the wedding day watching our film back.
We chose La Boheme for our wedding cake as we have always enjoyed her cakes and treats. The gluten free cake has always been my favourite. As we both love cakes so much we decided to have a cake table; we had one two tiered cake Victoria sponge cake (one tier was gluten free), surrounded by lavender meringues, salted caramel macaroons, mini Victoria sponge cakes, cookies and cake pops.
We also had little surprises for each other; Tom got a friend to play ‘Hey Ho’ for us as we walked into the reception room, I sang ‘Hey Ho’ for him and the guests later on (with the same friend playing guitar…great minds)! Tom created a rap to the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ about meeting me and my family within his speech. My sister-in-law and brothers kindly made beer bottle labels titled ‘Scruffy Puppy’ that also had a picture of our dog Marvin on it to surprise Tom when I gave him his favourite ‘Honey Blonde’ Beer. I also made up a flash mob dance to a songs my sister in law had edited together. The flash mob was taught to all my hens (including my mum, mother in law and mums best friend!) and we surprised everyone with the dance. To finish the dance we all turned around with masks of Toms face on and danced to his favourite song ‘Bump and Grind’!!
DJ Ben was included in our package at Mitton Hall. Ben was incredible; he had the dance floor full all night.
For our honeymoon, we went on a wildlife tour in Borneo; it was incredible. We went on a private tour and travelled around so we got to see lots of wildlife. We also tried scuba diving, went across canopy walkways, paddled in waterfalls, stayed in the rainforest. At the end of the adventure we stayed in for a few nights in a hotel where we got to relax and chill.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to space everything out and start getting tasks done early. We made a lot of our decorations and we started ticking ‘To Do’s’ of our list months before the big day so there was no stress closer to the wedding. We had finished everything we needed to do three weeks before the day which meant there was no stress and we really got to enjoy the build up.
We also think its important not to be afraid to ask for help; a lot of people will be willing to help as they will want your day to be perfect for you. We cant thank our family and my friend Julie (one of my bridesmaids who came over from Australia) enough. We had evenings together of decorating jars, making the table runners and the table plan, etc. It was so lovely to have them all involved and getting to spend time with family.
Congratulations Keri & Tom!
This is not a sponsored post
June 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we’re invited for a summer high tea with Brides Up North reader Carrie and her husband Paul, as we celebrate their Real Wedding in Chester. Carrie combined authentic vintage pieces with delicate decorative touches to create a pretty and personal celebration.
Carrie says: We had a long engagement – we got engaged four years prior to the wedding – and were married on 4th August 2013 at The Doubletree Hilton in Chester.
We opted for a vintage theme with lots of greys, creams and pinks, and used the venue’s beautiful brick barn which suited our styling perfectly.
I chose a column lace dress with a fishtail. It was an authentic vintage dress altered dramatically at Melanie James Bridal in Chorlton.
I carried a bouquet of hydrangeas by Acacia of Chester.
My makeup artist was Laura Wisinger, with hair by Rebecca Rigby.
June 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we join Helen and Simon for their beautiful Real Wedding at Eaves Hall. With an abundance of lovely vintage style details, Helen managed to make her mark whilst keeping the overall feel of their big day pretty and classic.
Helen harbours wedding planning dreams, and d’know what? I think we might have a new talent on our hands.
With images by Gemma McAuley Photography.
Helen says: We got engaged at home on Christmas morning. I was pottering around, getting a little stressed because the turkey wasn’t cooking. Just before I served lunch, Simon was in front of the fire on one knee. I said yes before he even asked!
We got married on 5th September 2013. It was the anniversary of when we started “courting”, what better date to get married on!?
We chose Eaves Hall, West Bradford in Clitheroe. We visited the venue on one of their open days and from the moment we walked in, we were blown away. Greeted with a glass of champagne and a single rose, a pianist in the corner playing classical music and brides walking around in fabulous dresses.
Our theme was classical vintage, it was simple but effective. I chose a colour palette of sage green, pink and white. I love the colour green and happened to find the ideal bridesmaid dresses, vintage tea cups for the tables (donated by my wonderful Grandmother) and perfect simple flowers.
I wore a David Tutera Zelda wedding dress, it was fitted, lace, ivory with a long train. The dress was exactly what I had envisioned; I just knew it was the one.
I found the dress in a tiny bridal shop in Clitheroe called Orchid Designs. The women there were lovely, patient and knew exactly what I wanted. They even added a little blue ribbon on the tie for “my something blue”.
Simon wore a tweed suit with a green checked shirt from Next. It went perfectly well with the whole theme of the wedding.
I carried a mixture of pink peonies, gypsophila and white hydrangeas from In Bloom in Darwen, Lancashire.
Our photographer was Gemma McAuley Photography from Darwen.
I would definitely recommend Gemma, she really took care and attention to what we wanted and certainly delivered. We had the studio photo booth (supplied and images taken by Gemma) in the evening which was a massive hit with the guests.
At our wedding breakfast we used a mixture of white and pink peonies with gypsophila for the centre pieces all displayed in teacups, rusted tin cans and old liqueur bottles surrounded with candles, books, buttons, and wooden bobbins and bunting hanging around the tables.
I made a great deal myself from our invitations to favours, centrepieces and seating plan. I’m seriously thinking about taking wedding planning up as a career. I have so many ideas and I’m bursting to try them all out!
I work for a local children’s charity Maddi’s Butterflies. The favour boxes consisted of homemade chocolate buttons and a charity pin badge with a little note explaining we’d donated to the charity on the guest’s behalf.
We had a mixture of canapés, mini Yorkshire puddings, mini cottage pies, chilli prawns and mozzarella with cherry tomatoes all served with a glass of champagne. Our wedding breakfast consisted of mushroom and tarragon soup, followed by a scrummy chicken dish and to finish off, sticky toffee pudding.
Throughout the day we had Ken Robinson, a pianist, playing whilst the guests were arriving, whilst I walked down the aisle and throughout the wedding breakfast. At night we had a fantastic band from Liverpool called Madison Party.
The cake had four tiers, it was ivory in colour with a lace imprint covered with chocolate buttons all within the colour scheme. Leona Worth of Cakes For Dates in Preston made the cake. It went down a treat with the guests, one tier was chocolate orange, chocolate, lemon and vanilla. It was lush.
After the wedding we went on honeymoon to Morocco. It’s a fabulous place with great food and wonderful surroundings.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take a step back for 10 minutes with your partner and take it all in on the day, as its over before you know it.
Congratulations Helen & Simon!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Gemma McAuley Photography
This is not a sponsored post
May 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Friday morning bacon sarnie and brew at the ready? Good. Then we’ll begin.
Franki and Anthony’s Real Wedding – high on the beautiful Otley Chevin – packs a proper Yorkshire punch. With flippy skirts, powerful polka dots and super hero details, this celebration is cute and quirky, but also seriously authentic. And very cool.
They had me at those heels.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Sarah Mason Photography.
Franki says: We got engaged in April 2010. Anthony had booked us a short break in Skipton for my birthday. He proposed to me as we were walking around the moat at Skipton Castle.
We tied the knot on 17th August 2013, we had originally set the date for the 18th August 2012 but decided to push it back a year to give us more time. It turned out to be a very wise decision as later that year I found out I was pregnant and my due date would only have been a few weeks before the wedding!
We got married at Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa in Otley.
We had been to many venues on our hunt for the perfect place and although some of them ticked all the right boxes they just didn’t feel right. We visited the Chevin on a whim one day and loved it even though it didn’t tick as many boxes as the others. The wedding coordinator told us we could basically do what we wanted on the day bar letting off sky lanterns. It just felt right and every time I thought about getting married after that first visit I always pictured us there.
We had a slight 1950’s theme, but it was a mix of a few things. It was a bit rockabilly, a bit vintage, a bit geeky, a bit buttony and a whole lot of us! Our wedding colour scheme was navy blue, white and pink.
I always knew the style of dress I would wear, a short, 1950’s style, halter neck circle dress with petticoat. I bought mine from Vivien of Holloway and my petticoat was custom made by Honeypie Boutique. I wore a custom made birdcage veil from What Katy Did Next which had a big white button covered heart to tie in with all the other buttons throughout the wedding. My shoes were a bargain as they were massively reduced when I bought them, from an online store called Nelly. They were pale pink suede with spikes running all the way down the inside of the heel. The finishing touches were my pearl necklace like the one stolen by Cat Woman in the Dark Knight Rises from a seller on Etsy and my navy belt also from Vivien of Holloway.
My five bridesmaids wore the exact same dress as me, just in a navy polka dot pattern with pink petticoats all from Vivien of Holloway. My niece was a little bridesmaid too, she wore a pink polka dot dress similar to the bridesmaids which a very talented family friend made for her.
We had five groomsmen who all wore the same suit as the groom but with just the navy polka dot pocket square.
We had three little ushers, our son Luca and my oldest friend’s two little boys. They wore grey chinos from Next with a white linen shirt from Gap. The had navy blue Converse, navy blue braces and navy bow ties both from eBay.
Between family, bridesmaids and myself we made six button bouquets and a mini button bouquet wand. It was time consuming but definitely worth it and my bouquet has pride of place in my kitchen now.
As I chose not to carry flowers we needed an alternative for the buttonholes as well. We decided on Lego superhero buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen and some button button holes for the wedding party. We DIY’ed them all.
Buttons played quite a large part in our day from being flower replacements to decorating our card box and being part of our centrepieces. They were everywhere.
The best money we spent was definitely on our photographer Sarah Mason. She captured our day absolutely perfectly and is a lovely, lovely lady who I cannot praise enough, we think she is a little bit fabulous!
A family friend played acoustic guitar as our ceremony music before singing with his partner during the reception drinks.
Our centrepieces were milk churn glass vases from Ikea. We tied ribbon that matched our wedding invitations around them and glued some buttons around the top. They were filled with some play sand and a white candle in which Anthony had carved numbers out of and filled with navy wax to make table numbers.
Our wedding favours were wine glasses dipped in chalkboard paint with a ribbon tied in a bow around the stem. We then chalked names onto them to double up as place settings.
Our chair covers were provided by Lindsey from Ambience Venue Styling, who I would highly recommend. Everything else was made by ourselves, family or friends. We made over 40 metres of bunting to decorate the balcony around the lake at our venue from blue, pink and white polka dot fabric.
We set up our own sweet stall for the evening reception for people to help themselves and instead of a guest book, Anthony’s dad made us some speech bubble chalkboards and another friend took pictures of people with messages they had written for us which we have in an album.
My friend made us a lovely three tiered chocolate and sponge cake that she covered in icing buttons. We had a Lego bride and groom as our cake topper.
We then had an absolutely amazing band for the evening reception called The Jukebox Jets. They are a rock n roll band and were absolutely fabulous as well as being super lovely. We literally danced all night, I have no idea who was at my evening reception as if they weren’t up dancing with me then I didn’t see them. They held a little dance competition too. Anthony and myself had to eliminate a couple after each song until we crowned a winning couple. They wore their crowns the whole night.
Obviously getting married and becoming a real family was the best part and the speeches were really good, the boys did themselves proud. Truthfully though, my favourite part was our first dance, we danced to Hallelujah I Love Her So, played by the band, our first dance as husband and wife, it was so much fun!
We went on a mini-moon after our wedding to a beautiful little cottage in Staffordshire. It was lovely as it was our first break as a family.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff. Things more than likely will go a little bit wrong on your big day. Our guitarist broke his guitar five minutes before I made my way up the aisle (he still managed to play), we lost the buttonholes for the grandparents, a pair of shoes turned up for Anthony’s dad in odd sizes plus a few other small things. Apart from us, nobody else knew and it made no difference to the day whatsoever. Designate two people you trust as problem solvers, make sure suppliers and other people know they are the people to contact if needed on the day and let them deal with any issues that do arise, leaving you to enjoy yourselves and relax.
Congratulations Franki & Anthony!
March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I love every wedding that I feature on these pages, and all for different reasons. Some are full of homespun, personal details and others breathtakingly beautiful. Most have a dash of both.
But then there are the weddings that have all that and more – the weddings where the personalities just leap off the page and I think – Hey, now there’s a wedding I’d have liked to have been invited to!
Lindsay and Ian’s big day is one of those. Yes, it’s cute, colourful and full of loveliness, but it also looks like it was a hell of a good laugh. And those wedding days, dear readers, are hard to beat…
With images by Marie-Claire at Fluke Photography.
Lindsay says: Ian asked me to marry him in July 2011 overlooking Lake Windermere. It was a beautiful warm sunny day – my birthday was in a couple of days and I was two weeks away from my due date – so really quite pregnant!
We were married on 5th October 2013 – almost 4 years to the day since we met – at Cock O Barton, Barton, Cheshire.
We chose our venue because it was a bit quirky and it didn’t need much decorating as it had real character. It was much cheaper for exclusive use than other places and the food was fabulous!
We chose to have a colourful wedding with vibrant autumnal florals. I carried a posy of orange calla lilies, protea and hypericum berries by Flowers by Gaynor.
We travelled in a fabulous teal blue Rolls Royce.
We used Fluke Photography for OUR fabulous pictures – we didn’t want too many posed pictures so we loved our documentary style album.
We both are into our music so we had original 7 inch records for our table names – all 10 records were special to us. The name places were paper flowers made from sheet music.
I walked down the aisle to “Your Silent Face” by New Order and we walked out to “Just Like Fred Astaire” by James. We danced our first dance to Elbow “One Day Like This”.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite part as the whole day was fabulous but saying our vows in front of our friends and family was very emotional. The speeches were also great and the party was fantastic!
We didn’t want a standard white iced wedding cake so we chose a three tiered chocolate covered sponge cake. It was made by the Ian’s parents who are Master Bakers!
For our entertainment we had a local band do some swing music followed by some indie and hip hop classics. Ian’s close friends provided DJ services late into the night. The dance floor was pretty much full all night until 3am! A close friend who is a musician also wrote and performed a song about us which was lovely.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Paris by Eurostar for four nights. It was very romantic and we had a great time. We didn’t want to go too far as we have a two year old son.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that it’s the people that make the day – not the expensive things. Savour every moment.
Congratulations Lindsay & Ian!
This is not a sponsored post
March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to another week Brides Up North! Any “I do”s over the weekend?
This was Team Brides Up North’s first weekend off in quite a long while, and I spent it catching up on sleep, enjoying some quality family time and sampling a few real ales at our village beer festival. Although I still prefer a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, there’s definitely a place in my life for a pint of pale ale, a pork pie and peas and rocking out to a questionable The Killers tribute act with my one year old on my hip of a Saturday afternoon!
However you spent yours, I hope it was glorious.
Talking of great occasions, let’s get things kicked off around here with a trip to Cheshire to celebrate the nuptials of Sarah & Gavin, who wanted a pretty yet modern feel for their big day. Here at wedding blog HQ we are loving Sarah’s gown – which proves that lace and tulle can look contemporary as well as vintage. Just lovely.
With images by Amanda Balmain.
Sarah says: We got engaged on my birthday in January 2012 in Barcelona, where Gav had taken me for a birthday weekend away, and we were married don 26th October 2013 at Statham Lodge Country House Hotel in Lymm, Cheshire.
We wanted a venue where we could hold the whole day and night without doing any travelling and where we and our guests could stay overnight. We looked at lots of places but Statham Lodge was our favourite from the start. The building and grounds were beautiful and we liked that there were different rooms for each part of the day and evening so we felt like we had plenty of space. It has lots of character but as it’s family run it felt quite intimate and not too grand, and the staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us – they really made a difference to the day. We also got an amazing out of season package which included the food, drink, DJ… there wasn’t much we actually had to worry about!
I love lace so that was a thread which ran throughout everything, but I didn’t want to go down the vintage route so tried to keep it quite sleek, modern and laid back. Our colours were deep purple and grey. We really didn’t want ‘Cadbury’s purple’ which is a popular shade for weddings, so trying to find everything in the right shade was a challenge! It’s the one thing I was really particular about!
I chose a Blue by Enzoani dress which I bought from Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham, Preston, and wore it with an amazing belt from Sash & Co. I loved the heavy lace top which was very fitted down to my hips, then the lace faded into a gorgeous tulle skirt which made me feel so special but not too over the top. The belt and lace trim veil I wore were both stunning and were the perfect finishing touches.
Gav and the groomsmen wore light grey three piece suits from Slaters, Liverpool, with deep purple ties and Gav wore a pale grey tie to set him apart from the others. They all looked so smart and the tie, rather than a cravat, made them look and feel much more laid back which is exactly what we wanted.
My three bridesmaids wore purple chiffon maxi dresses from H&M which were a real bargain and the colour was spot on! My lovely designer friend Amy Saville altered them to fit perfectly, adding an extra layer for length and adding the lace cap sleeves and V insert at the back which tied them in with the lace theme. They all looked so beautiful!
As we had the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception in the same place we didn’t need to travel anywhere. I arrived at the venue with my Mum and Dad which was nice as we got to spend some time alone in the car on the way, and everyone met us there to get ready and start the day at Statham Lodge!
I carried a small teardrop bouquet made up of ivory mini orchids and freesias and a couple of deep purple flowers to match the colour theme. My bridesmaids carried small posies of ivory freesias and the Mum’s and groomsmen all had orchid button holes. Our flowers were by 2lips Florists in Stockton Heath.
The music during the ceremony made it really special for us, as we chose the string versions of some of our favourite songs. I walked down the aisle to the strings version of U2’s “With Or Without You” and it still makes me a bit teary when I hear it now!
Amanda Balmain was our photographer and is a genius at capturing those little moments and the general feeling of the day.
We tried to keep the day as small and personal as possible, so I made a lot myself, including the invitations, centre pieces, place names and favours. I made use of lots of small online retailers to source my many materials! The favours which were wine glass charms with each person’s initial as a charm.
My favourite part of our wedding was the speeches, I loved seeing everyone together, having a good time and enjoying the day. My Dad had been nervous about his speech since the minute we got engaged but I was so proud of him, and of Gav and his best man and brother, Jon, who all got the balance of emotional and funny just right! Gav says his favourite part was when I walked down the aisle, which is very sweet of him and despite concentrating so hard on not crying was also one of my favourite bits.
The casino by Fun Casino Royale before the evening ceremony was a lot of fun and kept that day to evening part really upbeat, and at night we just wanted everyone to dance so had Dave Buck as a DJ, who came as part of the Statham Lodge package and was brilliant!
Our honeymoon really was our trip of a lifetime, we went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, LA and finished with a week of all inclusive luxury in Mexico. It was really important to us to not get carried away and overspend on the wedding so we could go all out on our honeymoon and do a trip that we’ve always wanted to do, and the best decision we made was booking the honeymoon for January so we really stretched out the whole wedding experience and there were no January blues for us!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: honestly, don’t stress! Do what you want to do and don’t worry too much about all the little details. People are there to see you get married and as long as you’re having the best time, so will they.
Congratulations Sarah & Gavin!
This is not a sponsored post
March 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re all smiles in the Brides Up North office this morning after a very, very lovely day at our Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition yesterday at Ramside Hall Hotel. I commented on Facebook last night that I’ve not seen so many excited brides and grooms in one place for a while, and it was great to see you all – another cracker of a day! Thank you to our fabulous exhibitors who packed the huge banqueting spaces with wedding pretty and each and every one of you who came along to support the Northern Revolution.
Snaps to you!
Right back to it this morning as we join Jennifer and Ryan for their twinkly vintage Real Wedding at Mitton Hall. With images by Project Valentine, this is one sparkling celebration. Take it easy this Monday morning, and feel the love…
Jennifer says: On my birthday (21st December 2012) there was an extra present under the tree which was a bunch of cupcakes made to look like roses with ‘Will You Marry Me?’ written on the centre one.
We were married on 23rd December 2013 at Mitton Hall, Mitton, Whalley. We chose the venue because it was a mixture of old and new. It is a 15th century building with old dark wood and balconies and has a new extension that is light and modern.
I chose a vintage theme for the wedding. I wanted to find a bridesmaid dress first that everyone would be happy with and decided that would be the colour scheme. These were ivory, pink and purple so we used this throughout the decorations.
I bought my dress from Lulu Browns in Whalley. It was a Justin Alexander dress, I fell in love with it when I saw it. It had the vintage lace feel but it was heavily embellished with sequins and beads.
Our photographers were called Project Valentine and they did a fabulous job. They focus more on natural shots and you hardly notice they are there which made the day very relaxed.
We found a lady called Chris who has a company called Beautifully Vintage. She did all the vintage table settings and decorations in the room and it looked stunning.
We bought a four tier lemon cake from Marks and Spencer and decorated it the day before with matching flowers.
I bought some artificial roses and made our bouquets myself. I used Christmas decorations and fancy beads to give them the vintage look.
Our favourite part of the day was when all the ceremony and speeches had been done we could finally relax and enjoy the party with our guests. We used SJ Enterprises and they provided a DJ, chocolate fountain and casino tables so there wasn’t a gap between the night and day.
For our honeymoon we are looking forward to going to Greece in the Summer.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to seek help where appropriate. I am quite creative and found it hard not to do everything by myself. I made all the stationery but it did stress me out slightly. The best thing I did was get suppliers to do the table dressing – it just made it so special. I even considered making the cake myself but I am glad we bought one in the end!
Congratulations Jennifer & Ryan!
This is not a sponsored blog