Charlotte Balbier

a palette that pops. ellis bridal for a colourful wedding in the north east – ashleigh & mark

May 13th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (15)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (44)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (30)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (11)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (63)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (3)

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (69)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (4)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (12)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (71)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (10)

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!

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (23)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (24)

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.

a colourful wedding at Close House (c) Little Miss Boyco (25)

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.

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apple of my eye. a fun-filled nyc themed wedding in lancaster – sohaila & john

May 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (18)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (3)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (9)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (8)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (10)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (11)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (15)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (16)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (17)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (19)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (20)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (22)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (30)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (29)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (27)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (40)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (42)

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!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (45)

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.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (44)

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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art felt. a colourful wedding celebration at manchester’s media city – rachael & zariah

April 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (41)

Today’s couple prove how a vibrant setting can actually help your big day stand out all the more. Rachael and Zariah combined their love for the arts, entertainment and all things bright to produce a colourful wedding that dazzled, in more ways than one.

I particularly love how happy and natural everyone involved in this special day looks, all captured by On Love and Photography – fabulous pics guys!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (10)

rachael says: We got engaged on that Olympic Super Saturday 4th August 2012 during a holiday in Paris. Before we went away, some of our friends speculated ‘ooh maybe he plans to propose in Paris!’ which I laughed off. After visiting a variety of stereotypically romantic settings (with limitless opportunities for proposal) – The Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, banks of the Seine etc. he hadn’t popped the question and so I wrote it off. Therefore it certainly came as a surprise as we got back to our hotel room on the last night and Zariah tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and produces a beautiful aquamarine engagement ring! I cried for a long time; half in shock, half in happiness and woke up the next day with a puffy but very happy face!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (7)

We were originally going to get married in February 2014. However, when I found out I was pregnant in December 2012, we decided to postpone the wedding so that we could solely focus on getting used to being new parents, without having to plan an imminent wedding too! Thankfully, the venue were so accommodating and happily rearranged it for 28th February 2015.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (4)

We had our wedding ceremony in our local church, St Paul’s in Sale town centre. The church is down the road from our house so it’s lovely to have that reminder of our wedding every time we walk past. After looking around various different venues for the reception, from stately homes to pubs, we knew from the moment we walked into The Compass Room at The Lowry Theatre that this was the place for us. We loved the urban architecture around, the room is really unique with floor to ceiling views of Media City. We are both also jobbing actors, so the fact our reception was in a theatre was another bonus and made it feel special to us.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (19)

The thought of planning a wedding has always filled me with dread, let alone the thought of a ‘theme’. That said, as we began to realise how much thought had to be put into each aspect of the day – there had to be some sort of common thread. We wanted the wedding to be bright, fun and personal, with a bit of sparkle.

Our colour scheme was predominantly blue with a lot of brights! My engagement ring is aquamarine, we both like blue so that was our base for the bridesmaid dresses and suits. After trawling through Pinterest I was drawn to all the brightly coloured flowers so we really went for a bit of everything.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (21)

After visiting several bridal shops in and around Manchester whilst carting Isaac around in his pram, the dress hunt was beginning to lose its sparkle. I was trying on too many and being indecisive. I had realised that the slightly 1950s style princess dress suited my figure the most but I struggled to find ‘the one’. One Saturday in July, on a visit back to my home town of St Helens with my step sister Julia we visited Always & Forever Bridal Boutique. The women in the shop were really down to earth, honest and didn’t beat around the bush, which is just what I needed. It was also the first shop I’d been into where I liked several of the dresses and most were in the Mori Lee range. It was here I found my Madison dress. It was just what I wanted, I loved the romantic tulle, full skirt, simple, but with a bit of sparkle in the belt.

It took a few more months for me to decide on the accessories. I bought some lovely 1950s style Rachel Simpson shoes online. Jewellery wise I wore a locket that my Grandad gave to my Nan on their first date which had their pictures in. I didn’t think I wanted a veil but in the end, I think the plain tulle veil complemented the church ceremony. Rosie Binns from Ethos Hair in Chorlton did my bridal hair and the bridesmaids’ hair on the day.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (23)

Zariah’s wore a blinking gorgeous electric blue FCUK suit from Moss Bros and Icon tanned brogues from Schuh. I thought he scrubbed up very well!

The groomsmen wore the same as Zariah. Isaac (our son) who was our page boy wore a suit from Mamas and Papas with blue Converse trainers. My bridesmaids wore sapphire blue Dessy dresses we ordered through J’Adore Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. My flower girl (Leah, my niece) wore a very pretty, simple white dress from Next, along with a cardigan with a butterfly clasp and we bought her a heart shaped locket, similar to mine.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (27)

We hired a beautiful Royal Windsor wedding car from Century Wedding Cars, St Helens, as our transport. We liked the 1950s theme and the company is owned by an old school friend’s mum and dad. It was nice to give them business as a grown up bride-to-be, rather than giving them grief as a teenage tearaway!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (28)

Our photographers were the brilliant and lovely Giulia and Ben from On Love and Photography. They had photographed our friends’ wedding the previous summer and we fell in love with their pictures. It was a no brainer that we wanted to use them too. Not only amazing photographers, they are such a friendly couple too. We both felt really comfortable around them and loved their observational style shots. They are also quite adventurous in their photography, egging us on for the more unusual pictures! We would highly recommend them.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (29)

Fletcher and Foley of Sale provided our flowers. My bouquet was made up of orange ranunculus, red parrot tulips, blue muscari, mixed anemones and hellebores and catkins for a touch of spring!

The florist arranged jam jar pew ends at the church made up of brightly coloured ranunculus, daffodils and blue musacri which really gave a hint of spring. Two of our friends then kindly transported the pew end flowers to the wedding venue and arranged them in a row on the top table. We used vases from my sister’s wedding for centre pieces and kept it simple with floating candles and peachy/pink delphinium orchids floating on top. The bridesmaids and I made the table plans, name cards and signage for the venue. The room itself had the wow factor so we didn’t need to go mad on decorations. Special Day Events, who we would recommend, provided organza bows for our chairs. Emma was really quick in her email correspondence and sent me an array of different coloured samples in the post to choose from.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (33)

Instead of a wedding guestbook, my friend made us a wedding post box with the idea that guests wrote their bits of advice and messages on a postcard, posted it in the box then took a selfie on our camera which we will print out and put next to their message in the guest book.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (36)

Being big cake lovers, it was only fitting that we had cupcakes as wedding favours. We also had a vase full of sparklers which we lit on the balcony overlooking Media City later on in the evening. The idea was for us to walk through a ‘bridge’ of sparklers – by this point the guests were quite drunk though and I was convinced my dress was going to go up in flames!

As our main cake we bought an M&S three-tiered cake with a mixture of fruit and sponge. Simple and tasty!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (38)

As Zariah’s family are a Jamaican heritage we wanted to incorporate some Caribbean flavours into our wedding meal and so the sweet potato and red pepper soup was a nod to this culture, whilst the Yorkshire pudding and beef canapés a nod to mine! We had chicken with mozzarella and sundried tomato as our main followed by a coconut Manchester Tart with banana ice cream, which was a big hit!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (44)

We love music and wanted guests to be in the mood for a party from the start so we hired Taylor and the Mason, two female guitarists to play during the drinks reception in the Quays Bar. Their voices are amazing and they are both gorgeous, funny and northern. We also hired a magician called Dan Tiernan whom Zariah and I have worked with at the Youth Theatre we teach. He was great and kept the guests and kids entertained during the meal.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (46)

For the evening reception we hired a DJ – Nick Campbell who was recommended to us. He came to our house before the wedding to discuss our tastes in music and was really friendly and chilled. Zariah had written out a long list of requests for the evening which Nick was happy to use. Nick gaged the audience perfectly, the dance floor was never empty – we even ended up doing a Conga to a reggae song around the room. Our first dance was to Our Day Will Come the Amy Winehouse version. We didn’t want anything too smoochy or slow, yet this song meant a lot to us as after being together for seven years and having a baby together, it felt about time we had our first dance!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (50)

It was really special that my Grandad walked me down the aisle in church. My mum and I lived with him and my Nan until I was four so we’ve always been close. It also seemed fitting that if my Grandad ‘gave me away’, then my step Dad, Graham, who’s been in my life for over 20 years should do the father of the bride speech in the evening. It was lovely that they both got to have special roles.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (55)

Being a bit of a feminist, I think a lot of our guests (including Zariah) expected me to do a speech along with the traditional male speakers. Whilst it was something I considered, after the pressure of months of wedding planning, the thought of adding this extra pressure wasn’t appealing. Then I came across four young lively buskers on Facebook that I had another idea. I asked Bolton Brass – a four piece brass band, to perform at our wedding as a surprise after the speeches. After watching them online, I just loved their energy (they do dance routines with trumpets) and hearing modern pop songs performed by a brass band just captivated me. The band burst through the doors playing Can’t Take My Eyes of You after the final toast and then leapt into No Place I’d Rather Be, The Final Countdown and a couple more songs. It really geared the guests up for the evening do and was my way of making a speech. They were amazing!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (52)

As we had a few children at the wedding I made goody bags for the kids table; play dough, colouring books, bubbles and disposable cameras.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (60)

We loved our wedding venue. The staff were so friendly and accommodating throughout and for those looking for an urban city wedding, The Lowry is perfect. The Compass Room is big and has the wow factor with great views of famous landmarks and endless opportunities for photos. We liked the fact we had our drinks reception in the Quays Bar downstairs, it really made use of the different sections of the venue. We also managed to have some photos taken in one of the theatres! It really was a unique venue and reflected both our love for Manchester and the arts.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (71)

It’s hard to define a favourite part of the day, we enjoyed it all from getting ready in the morning to doing the Conga in the evening! The vows in church were a really special moment when we both had to hold back the tears. We also really enjoyed hearing the readings we had picked for the church – one was from Isaac’s favourite bedtime book called ‘Me’ by Emma Dodd. It was lovely to have our son with us on our wedding day and fitting that we could include a reading that meant something to all of us. One really unique part of the day was when we arrived at venue and our photographers ushered us to a bridge next to The Lowry for photos whilst hundreds of Man United fans headed to the match. It was moment on our own away from the guests, yet surrounded by lots of friendly strangers from Zariah’s team (Zariah would like to add: we won 2-0 so it was a great day overall). We also had fun later on when we took to the balcony of The Lowry for group pictures with our friends. It was really cold and windy so after a few drinks, we all jumped up and down and started chanting silly songs to keep warm. It just confirmed how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends!

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Following the wedding we had a two-night minimoon at The Brimstone, Langdale in The Lake District. After a hectic 18 months of bringing up a baby and wedding planning, we just wanted total relaxation on our own. We are also having a week away to Crete in the summer as our honeymoon and taking Isaac with us.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (84)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North is – plan well in advance, especially if you’re doing a lot of the stationery yourself. We took for granted how long the little bits would take us. We would also recommend investing in good photographers like On Love and Photography. The photos are the memories you keep for life after your day is over. We decided what mattered to us the most and the least, and stuck to that in terms of budget. Have fun on the day! The little things really won’t matter much. It’s about you two and having your loved ones around you what makes the wedding, not the chair covers (even though they did look lovely).

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beside the sea. a pretty pastel wedding at newton hall, northumberland – michelle & nikki

April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (49)

Today’s stunning couple had Northumberland’s first same sex marriage, and the stylish ladies certainly made sure it would be an event to remember.

Michelle and Nikki chose a gorgeous seaside location for their romantic celebration, complete with pretty floral decorations and vintage touches.

Nikki looked gorgeous in her lace Essense of Australia gown while Michelle rocked a sophisticated Marc Jacobs fitted suit during their summer ceremony.

Following the “I dos” there were cocktails, delicious food and a host of live entertainment, what more could you want from a wedding?

With images by Erika Tanith Photography.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (5)

nikki says: We went travelling around Australia together and got engaged just after midnight on 1st January 2010 on Sydney Harbour. We were enjoying celebrating the New Year out on a boat in the lightshow next to the Opera House when I asked Michelle to marry me.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (8)

We were married on 14th July 2014. We picked the date as it is in-between both our birthdays and we really wanted summer wedding.

We chose to marry at Newton Hall. As soon as we visited we knew we wouldn’t find anywhere else that compared. The hall and grounds were exclusive to us all day and night. The location was perfect with a beach nearby and we often visit Northumberland for day trips.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (16)

We didn’t have a particular theme as such but we quite liked the vintage look with a quirky twist to match the venue. We chose a pastel teal colour scheme as it would go nice with the venue, the season and complement the men’s’ light grey suits.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (17)

I chose a dress from Essense of Australia, it was a very light ivory dress with a lace dress over the top – I picked it to match the vintage theme. The dress was light and comfortable. When shopping for my dress I couldn’t believe how heavy most of the gowns were and being a summer wedding was relieved when I found my dress which was much lighter. Michelle wore a fitted black suit and blouse from Marc Jacobs.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (21)

The bridesmaids wore light teal dresses from Debenhams to match the theme while the men and children wore light grey suits from Next with black ties.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (27)

Our hair and makeup artist was a very talented lady called Maxine Ayre. She did a wonderful job of the hair and makeup for everyone in the bridal party. It is very rare that you find someone who can do both hair pinups and makeup to such a high standard. Would highly recommend – couldn’t have wished for a nicer person and who made us feel so relaxed on the morning too knowing we were in good hands.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (35)

Michelle and her family stayed at nearby Doxford Hall the night before so travelled in a VW Campervan which we hired from Brooklands Wedding Cars.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (38)

Erika Tanith was our photographer, we would certainly recommend her. The quality and creativity of her photos were stunning and she felt like part of the family on the day.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (47)

I carried memory lane and avalanche roses in my bouquet which was made by talented florists at Floral Quarter. Throughout the planning of the wedding we purchased various quirky items we thought the floral decorations would look good, from miniature teapots to jam jars and wooden boxes. Floral Quarter provided the flowers and arrangements within these and really pulled everything together beyond our expectations. Would highly recommend them.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (48)

As favours we gave ‘little bags of happiness’ which we made and put together ourselves.

The cake was three tiers, each with a different flavour, simply decorated with some falling roses. It was provided by Lilly Jack Cakes.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (50)

We attended a few wedding open days at Newton Hall where they give out free cocktails and showcased the evening food options. We were also treated to a complimentary menu taster session at the As You Like It restaurant to help us choose or favourite food and drink for the big day.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (53)

To entertain our guests while we were getting photographs taken down at the nearby beach we hired Magic Paul, a very talented magician. We also hired two sets of musical entertainment from AMV Music. Annabelle Pattinson played acoustic guitar and sang before and after the ceremony. For the evening entertainment we had a seven-piece band called Livewire. We did a lot of research on the entertainment as Michelle comes from a musical family (her mum was a singer in the North East) so it was going to be a big part of our day. Once we discovered them we knew immediately they were for us. Livewire were fantastic – they learnt our first dance song, let us choose their playlist and even allowed Michelle and her mum to sing a couple of songs!

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (9)

To add some special touches we hired ‘Love’ lights from Coco Luminaire to set the room off. Instead of a traditional guest book we had a fingerprint tree for our family and friends to stamp their finger prints. We now have this framed in our living room as a daily reminder or our special day. We also had photographs of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day and a candle to remember those that couldn’t be with us. We set up a large vintage picture frame hung by ropes from a tree which our guests loved getting their photos taken at.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue o other couples. We were made to feel so special and the staff went above and beyond to make everything flow without us even noticing. They were amazing!

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (59)

We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved all of it! Truly, from the moment Michelle arrived through to the ceremony, the photos, meal, toast and then the evening – it was just fantastic! After the ceremony it was great to go to the beach just the two of us with Erika and spend quality time together taking everything in.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (6)

The day after our wedding we went on honeymoon to Punta Cana in the Dominican for two weeks. It was beautiful, just like you imagine the Caribbean to be – the staff treated us to champagne, wine and cakes for our occasion. It was very special – we also visited Saona Island where the bounty advert was filmed, total paradise!

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (58)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy every minute and don’t worry what may go wrong – it really won’t matter on the day! We just couldn’t believe how quickly the day went by after over a year of planning. Savour every moment!

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sing a rainbow. a crafty & colourful wedding celebration in north yorkshire – kristina & andrew

April 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (32)

You might want to slip on a pair of sunnies for this one as today’s wedding features all the colours of the rainbow.

Following a church ceremony, Andrew & Kristina threw a bright & breezy, colourful wedding reception in a field complete with marquee, barbecue, bus bar, games and camping.

The pair made the day their own with special touches and homemade décor including a DIY photo booth and bunting – lots of bunting!

With images by Ruth Mitchell Photography.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (6)

kristina says: We got engaged on the 10th August 2013 in the Alps. We had a two week holiday planned driving around France in our van, starting in Paris and ending in Alpe d’Huez. I had no idea this would be the time Andy would propose, we had been together seven years and just though it would never happen. Part of the trip was planned so when we arrived in the Alps we would go on a little adventure in the mountains so Andy could show me why he loves them so much. We packed our bags and set off on the cable car as far as it would take us then started our walk up. We later pitched our tent and got an early night as Andy informed me an alpine start is early, like 4am early. What a sight when I woke, all I could see were little lights moving across the rocks one after the other it was fab. Our bags were already packed so off we went. When we got to the glacier we had to put on our crampons and rope together so we could start our climb up the mountain. When we started to reach the top the sun was blinding, it was incredible. We carried along the flat of the top and over to some rocks for a rest and to take in the view. Andy asked if I wanted a brew but in all honesty all I wanted to do was get down as I felt a little strange. He then tells me he has a little present for me and gets a box out of his jacket pocket and out of the box comes a lovely little wooden ring and then his words, ‘will you marry me?’. I was in shock then looked up at Andy and said ‘yes’. Shortly followed by ‘can we go down now?’ When we got back to the campsite our friends had all travelled over to France and had a banner with congratulations on it and champagne ready, it was great. I also found out Andy had hand made my ring in our loft out of cherry wood. How sweet.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (3)

We were married on Saturday 9th August 2014. We had wanted to get married on the anniversary of our engagement but that would have been a Sunday so we chose the 9th.

We originally wanted to get married outside but with this not being legal in England we felt it would have been a hassle to get married then have a blessing outside so we chose a church wedding. We are not from Great Ayton and as we had already chosen our reception venue we thought a church close by would be the best option and we stumbled upon St Oswald’s at Newton under Roseberry. The vicar Paul Peverell is an amazing man, very down to earth and understanding. As soon as we met him we knew we had made the right decision. Our wedding reception was at Angrove Park in Great Ayton. We were looking for somewhere with a field for a marquee, camping for our guests and a fire pit, oh and loos. We stumbled upon Angrove Park online. This was the only venue we looked at and booked it straight away. It had everything we wanted, including camping pods and tent space, it was just perfect. The owners Louise and Alan are fantastic people they were there for us every step of the way and helped in so many ways – they were simply amazing.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (7)

We used Fletchers Marquees to provide the marquee who were great. The marquee was perfect and they were very reasonably priced and provided a really helpful service.

At first we didn’t have a theme, we were more interested in getting the colours right and making sure it was chilled out and fun. As the planning went on though I found myself making a lot of things in the shape of bunting, so I guess bunting was our theme.

We both love colour so would have found it hard to decide on one. Our home is colourful and we are both colourful outgoing people so decided to go with colours of the rainbow. We thought this was the best way to make it our own wedding and not a remake of someone else’s.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (8)

I’m not a dress kind of girl so for me this part was not too important. I went to BHS and bought the first dress I tried on and thought, great that will do. Around three months before the wedding I tried the dress on again and decided that actually I did not want to be in just any dress, I wanted to be in a dress I would feel comfortable in all day. So I gathered the troops (my mam, sister and best friend) and off we went in search of a new dress. We went to a place where you can buy off the peg and at good prices called Tonia Ann in Washington. I tried on a few and then I tried on ‘the one’. It was so comfortable and well, just me. I bought it there and then.

Andy wore a black suit from Next. We had looked at hiring suits but Next suits are such good quality at reasonable prices so it was an easy decision for us. His shirt was from Debenhams as this was the only place we could find a double cuff shirt which did not cost the earth. He wore a red bow tie, cufflinks, braces and handkerchief which were from eBay and he wore red Converse. The groomsmen wore the same but in their own colour (to match the rainbow). We also had a little page boy, our nephew Toby. He wore a little black suit and white shirt from Marks & Spencer. He had orange braces bow, tie handkerchief and shoes. Too cute.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Debenhams. We went shopping very early on for these as I wanted to make sure they both had dresses they felt comfortable in. We had such a fun day, some of the dresses they tried on were hilarious. They chose a lovely purple dress and we also got their shoes that day – orange sandals from BHS.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (10)

I walked to the church as I was staying at the Kings Head the night before which is at the top of the lane. I really enjoyed walking, it gave me time to soak in what was about to happen. We drove our van from the church to the reception as it fit in perfectly with our day. We have a very nice transporter T4, which Andy had popped some ribbons on.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (11)

Our photographer was Ruth Mitchell. Ruth was recommended to us from a friend and I’d seen her around at work so we arranged a meeting. We hit it off straight away and after seeing her work we paid a deposit to secure the date. Ruth was brilliant and took everything in her stride. Anything we needed Ruth was there. On our wedding day Ruth blended into our wedding like one of the guests while capturing perfect memories. Brilliant. We definitely made the right decision choosing Ruth and if anyone is looking for a professional yet relaxed photographer I would definitely recommend her.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (12)

I had what I thought was the most amazing bouquet. I had priced up a few bouquets and found them to be more than I wanted to pay so we decided to do them ourselves. I contacted Alex Lunn from Blossom and Blooms as he has a stall at Ripon Market and thought I could pick them up on the Thursday before our wedding. I explained that I wanted him to provide me with flowers so I could make them up myself. He was happy with this and very helpful. He emailed me a picture on that Thursday morning showing me some of the flowers he had got in stock just for me. I couldn’t believe it, they were great! I topped the flowers up from him with a few from Morrisons as I was missing blue and orange colours. My sister made my bouquet and tied it with string, it was lovely. It was so nice I asked her to make me another to throw as I did not want to the first one.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (13)

To decorate we had a jam jar of flowers on each of the 15 tables, a big bunch in the bar bus and lots of little jars all over the site. They were all made up by my sister and best friend. I enjoy crafting so decided to make everything myself for the venue including the name cards, table numbers and cake sign. I bought little windmills to add in with the flowers as they were bright and we had bunting everywhere! My mam made this for us and it was amazing. We also made paper pompoms to sit on the stage and had a homemade photo booth with a backdrop of paper birds. My sister and dad spent hours making a thousand of these so we could hang them up. It looked so cool. I also made a table plan with good old cutting and sticking.

Our wedding favours were fridge magnets. We had 15 different magnets printed with the wedding date on each and we slipped them into the name cards. We decided on magnets as every time someone looked at their fridge they would be reminded of our wedding.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (17)

We chose to have our cake made by a friend Alice as she makes amazing cakes. Between us we decided to go for a sponge cake with three tiers covered in white icing and a row of bunting on each tier, it was great. Alice also made us a cake topper which tied in with the theme and colour scheme. My mam loves fruit cake so I had Alice make a special fruit cake just for her.

We choose to have a barbecue for our wedding breakfast provided by a local butcher called Johnson’s of Thirsk, which was amazing. The choice was fantastic and the service second to none. We asked all of our guests to bring a homemade desert with them which worked really well. We also asked Johnsons to come back with an evening buffet.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (19)

For entertainment we chose a band called Facsimile. They rocked. We found this band on the internet completely by chance and what a find. A great bunch of lads who were so easy going and professional. We did not sit down all night!

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (24)

Special touches on the day included giving gifts to our mams and dads and I gave the bridesmaids a box of goodies the night before – their favourite perfume, wine and bits and bobs and also gave them a piece of jewellery each on the day. We made a little craft table for the children to keep them occupied and also had a lot of garden games, which everyone had fun playing.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (26)

As something a little different our best man created a wedding video for us rather than doing a speech as he was not too keen on talking to crowds of people. It was fantastic and very touching. It was a slideshow of photos of us both from childhood up until present day, with some well-chosen music.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (28)

We would definitely recommend our venue. Louise and Alan who own Angrove Park are just amazing. We hired the venue from Thursday to Sunday so we could make the most of the weekend. Louise helped with ideas gave us pointers and was genuinely excited about our wedding. Louise and Alan also gave us use of their bus bar for our day, which was amazing.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (30)

We can honestly not pick one single moment from our wedding day as our favourite; we just had the best time ever.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (33)

We wanted our honeymoon to be an adventure so we started in Las Vegas and ended in St Lucia. We stayed at the MGM Grand for two nights then hired a car and drove to the Grand Canyon Lodges. We then drove to the Grand Canyon and onto Monument Valley. Our next stop was Zion National Park. This was our favourite part of the trip, we could have spent much longer there had we had the time. We stayed in the Zion Lodges just out of the main town – this hotel was great! Then on the drive back to Las Vegas to catch a flight to Miami then onto St Lucia we encountered a storm which delayed us by a day as the road we were travelling on was closed. We went to see the Virgin rep who sorted out new flights and the car hire. St Lucia is an amazing place and we would definitely return if we had the chance. The food was great the people were amazing and the temperature was hot.

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (35)

Our biggest tip to other Brides Up North is make sure you do what you want to do. No matter how many people tell you it won’t work or that will be silly. Do it, remember it’s your day and you know your guests. Make yourself happy as you only get one wedding day!

a rainbow wedding at Angrove Park (c) Ruth Mitchell Photography (37)

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