Charlotte Balbier

love lights. a relaxed yet glamourous tipi wedding at home – carly & louis

January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (16)

Can we all just pause for a moment please and admire today’s bride’s beautiful wedding style? From her bejewelled headband to her full length veil and beaded gown, this lady looks like she’s straight off the catwalk.

And her boy doesn’t scrub up badly either, does he?

Carly and Louis’s super stylish, yet relaxed tipi wedding celebration was full of fun, blousy blue blooms, twinkling fairy lights and special little touches.  Just lovely.

Be inspired…

With images by GS Studio.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (17)

carly says: We were on a snowboarding holiday in Sauze D’oulx, Italy for New Year’s 2013/2014. Half way down a gorgeous tree lined slope, snow coming down on New Year’s Day, Louis stopped me saying he needed a rest, when we stopped, he flipped over onto both knees (still strapped in) and pulled the little box out his pocket.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (23)

We set the date for 6th September 2014, we chose it hoping it would be a good day for the weather, it was so nerve wracking getting married in a tipi, it could have gone one way or another!

We got married in a tipi supplied by the fantastic Unique Tent Company in my parents’ garden. It had always been a dream of mine ever since they bought the place, they weren’t quite as excited as I was when I came to them with the idea, but they came round in the end and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a real labour of love getting the garden ready.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (30)

We had a very natural, garden theme, it just fit with the fact we got married at home, very relaxed. Charlotte from The Finishing Touch Company and Helen at Bels Flowers really pulled the whole place together, it was an absolute wonderland.

We chose to go with blues and greys for our colour palette, the stone in my engagement ring is a star sapphire and blue-grey in colour so we decided to follow that.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (42)

I chose an Eliza Jane Howell full length gown with long sleeves in a heavily beaded 20’s style, I felt so glamorous the second I put it on, I knew it was the one. I bought it from Kathryn S Trueman in Morpeth and the girls were amazing!

Louis wore a three piece navy suit, tartan tie and some fabulous Grenson shoes from End Clothing, very dapper!

Our groomsmen, all TWELVE of them wore the same as Louis, and the bridesmaids wore the Ghost dye to order Chelsea dress.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (43)

Gemma Smith at GS Studio was our photographer and she was fantastic and followed exactly what we wanted. I can’t recommend her enough, everyone was so at ease, and the pictures are so natural, exactly what we wanted!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (46)

My dad bought a 1953 Ford Popular when I was about 3 years old and after a few fun trips as a child it sadly went into retirement when I was about 8 years old.  Dad knowing how much I adored the old car secretly had it all fixed up, serviced, new wheels the lot as a surprise and we’re so lucky to be able to take our little wedding car for a tootle now whenever the weather permits all be it at a max of 20mph (which made the journey to the church that morning VERY interesting!)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (1)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (12)

Helen at Bels Flowers provided the most beautiful natural bouquets of hydrangeas, nigella, dusty miller and even included some herbs so the bouquets had the most beautiful aroma.

The Finishing Touch Company provided most of the internal decorations with bell jars and watering cans bursting with flowers on the tables, the festoon lighting and the blackboard seating plan were the piece de resistance from Coco Luminaire.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (57)

We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (58)

My mum’s best friend made the wedding cake, she’s so talented! I wanted an informal cake that really represented us so she made it look like an alpine slope with two little snowboard figurines on the top dressed in our wedding clothes, it was so special and absolutely delicious!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (65)

We chose a band called the Soundcasters from London, we’d heard them on the holiday in the Alps when we got engaged and couldn’t get them out of our heads, they had the whole place jumping every night, exactly what we wanted for our special day.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (71)

100% everyone we used were top notch, we didn’t hit one hitch throughout the day, largely thanks to the co-ordination from our catering team at Sheer Elegance Catering, Anthony and Chris ran the day like clockwork and Jane from Newcastle Falcons supplied the bar.  She managed to come up with every request we had and didn’t run short of a thing on the night.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (70)

Snaparazzi Photobooths supplied us with one of their fabulous booths which went down a treat and Coco Luminaire supplied the large illuminated letters, they even managed to get them outside on the lake, it looked absolutely stunning! Bit-a-Sweet supplied the sweety cart and were kind enough to keep it stocked all night.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (79)

I couldn’t choose a favourite part of the day, I guess the speeches were pretty special though, I have the give my dad, Louis and all 12 best men their dues, we were in stitches!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (84)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (88)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (85)

After the wedding we took a two week snowboarding holiday in the alps, a little energetic for a honeymoon, but it was so much fun, we had a week alone and a week with friends, my stomach still hurts from laughing so much!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (91)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (96)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax, enjoy it and if you know you’re a worrier then give yourself plenty of time, it’s the most amazing day!

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call it magic. a winter’s walk for an engagement in durham – dan & donna

January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (3)

This afternoon we are in my home town of Durham as we meet loved up newly-weds Dan and Donna and share their wild and wintery engagement shoot.

wrap up warm

With images by Chris Parkinson.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (2)

dan says: The engagement took us both by surprise really, we were sharing a bottle of champagne in Durham, and all of a sudden I just asked Donna ‘Will you marry me?’. It was as much a surprise to me as her, I didn’t have a ring or anything. It was just the right moment, the perfect time. Magic.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (9)

We were actually classmates in primary school. But we went on to different secondary schools, and didn’t meet again until we were both 25, through Donna’s brother. I asked Donna out for a drink and we’ve been together ever since.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (16)

We just went to the local pub for our first date. It was love at first sight for me, but not sure about Donna! We just seemed to become best friends instantly.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (23)

Just being around Donna makes me happy, she makes me laugh a lot, in particular her dancing around the house.

I know this sounds soppy, but Donna never really annoys me, I annoy myself more.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (24)

Our biggest wish for married life is just to keep on being us.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (26)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (28)

Obviously the best bit about Brides Up North that its local, and helps you find exactly what you need. We just find the whole website really easy to use and got some great ideas.  We were married at South Causey Inn on 22nd December 2014 and we’ll definitely be back to share our wedding photos on the blog.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (31)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (29)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (30)

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

December 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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

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

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

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

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

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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this is ace. a fun filled marquee wedding at Mill Granary Cottages – frances & olly

December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (26)

Frances and Olly’s relaxed marquee wedding is filled with fun, fab florals (some ten feet tall, watch out for the giant daffs) and fuelled by a free bar.  Always a nice idea.

It’s the first wedding ever to be held at Mill Granary Cottages, and I have a feeling that the bar has been set pretty high…

Get ready to party!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Camera A Photography.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (19)

frances says: We got engaged in October 2013 – a week before my birthday.  We got engaged on the Friday morning. Olly had liaised with a colleague of mine and put a “fake meeting” in my diary so I thought I had a full day at work.  I also thought we were going to Sheffield to visit friends on Friday night.  I got up at 6am and Olly said I wasn’t going to work that day.  I told him he was wrong because I had a meeting.  He asked me to marry him in our flat in the morning before he whisked me off to Paris to celebrate.

We got married in a beautiful church, St Osmund’s in Gainford on 7th June 2014.

The reception venue was Mill Granary Cottages – we hired the cottages and put a marquee on the meadow next to them.  It was the first wedding they had ever done and it looked amazing.  Kate and Richard (who own Mill Granary) were fantastic.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (14)

We wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to have a good time, and I’m not sure I managed a colour scheme!

I travelled in a white VW beetle to the wedding. My bridesmaids were in a VW van. I used Lovedub Cars.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (20)

I chose a dress from Sabina Motasem, a designer based in London.  I wanted something elegant and not too over the top.  She has some beautiful dresses in her collection.

My hair and makeup were done by Hobbs and Holmes and they were so good on the morning of the wedding.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon – silver coloured, knee length and really pretty.  The ushers wore their own suits and Olly bought them their ties and pocket squares.

Olly wore a Reiss suit.  He looked fit.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (28)

I carried white peonies.  My mum bought them from the flower market and my friend Ruth made the bouquets with the help of Olly’s sister.  The bridesmaids had white peonies and pink roses.  Ruth did those as well.  Befriend a florist it’s a huge money saver!

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (33)

Our photographers were Jane and Anne from Camera A in Darlington.  They were brilliant.  Jane was completely organised and made sure she extracted a full briefing from us before the day to get the shots we wanted.  They were both really flexible on the day and the photos are gorgeous.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (37)

The decorations outside the marquee and around the marquee were provided for by Ruthie from Cloud Nine Decor.  She is an amazing talent and provided giant flowers, a bluebell archway, and loads of bunting.

The table decorations were provided by my Mum.  She collected little crystal vases from charity shops and they were filled with wild flowers from fields and woodland that she collected.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (11)

Olly made the cake – it was a family recipe –  Guinness cake.  It was delicious.

We chose not to give out favours – there was a free bar!

We ordered our wine from Majestic.  We had a French Malbec and a South African white.  The food was provided by The Game Cart.  Really delicious food and their front of house staff were superb, making sure our guests were really looked after.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (50)

We had three of our friends do DJ shifts on the night.  They were brilliant and just banged out the hits.  The dance floor was permanently full.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (2)

We’d absolutely recommend Marston Moor Marquees and Mill Granary Cottages.  If you want a marquee wedding but need somewhere to host it, this is the place.

a garden wedding at Mill Granary Cottages (c) Camera A Photography (52)

We’re off on our honeymoon over Christmas – destination TBC…

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a free bar if you can – it’s well worth it!

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home made. an English country garden festival wedding at Crook Hall – scott & claire

December 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (56)

It’s Friday, and after a whole week at home with my poorly baby (who is feeling much better, thank you) I’ve got the Friday feeling and then some.  Any post-work drinks will probably still be consumed in my kitchen, but if you are heading out to have some fun… I hope you have a good one.

Be inspired by Claire and Scott’s super fun day – totally done their own way – starting with an intimate ceremony for five, followed by an English tea party and finishing off with a full on festival.  Via a trip to the local, of course.

I like their style.

With images by Darren Mack.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (2)

claire says: We got engaged on Valentines Day 2012. We were spending the weekend in the country and whilst out walking Scott proposed on a windy hillside in Upper Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. Apparently he didn’t really know it was going to happen!

We were married on 9th August 2014. We wanted a vintage English country garden wedding so guessed that time may be the best chance of sun. It was a beautiful sunny day.

We chose Crook Hall & Gardens, Durham as our venue. Its very close to home, and just right as soon as we walked in. Its very English and has a great view of the Cathedral, beautiful gardens and and feels like a real home, which it is. It’s an incredible sight in summer with the gardens in full bloom.

The evening reception was held at Durham Amateur Rowing Club Boathouse on the river. It’s a small friendly spot with a campsite which we needed for all our camper van mates.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (13)

We didn’t want a wedding that didn’t reflect who we are. The day had to be nobody’s but our own. It needed to feel home made because it really was. We had a private family ceremony (five guests in total), tea party reception in the afternoon with live acoustic music, our vintage VW camper, a walk through the city centre featuring a pint in the historic Victoria Inn, and then a music festival theme on the night time with Scott’s band playing the music and our friends camping in their old VWs. This all reflected who we are and what we get up to in our lives.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (16)

There was no colour scheme to speak of, but colours that reflected vintage bunting and English garden flowers. The lads all wore fuchsia pink ties and music manuscript buttonholes, but it was all very unscripted.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (25)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (26)

I wore a fitted, elegant diamond white Maggie Sottero dress (Tia), with delicate, hand-sewn jewelled details.  I bought it from Poppy Bridal in Darlington.  It was the very first dress I tried on, nothing compared afterwards. It made me feel like a princess and summed up the look I wanted. Michele Bailey (of Wedding Hair and Makeup North East) took care of my hair and makeup on the day – perfectly.

Scott wore a sharp blue suit from Reiss with a fuchsia pink tie and brown brogues.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (28)

Our photographer was Darren Mack, who we highly recommend. He captured the true essence of the day without being formal. He captures off guard moments with ease and is truly a nice guy to have at your wedding. Top man Daz!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (31)

I chose an English country garden-style hand tied bouquet from City Blooms in Durham. The colours reflected the season.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (33)

For our reception, we decorated using our own vintage tea pots decorated with English flowers by my Mum. We also made our own bunting on our 1950′s sewing machine, plus all the table decorations for both venues made from old tin cans and jam jars decorated with raffia, lace and twine.

We gave out  jars of Scott’s homemade jam and marmalade in hand decorated paper bags.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (34)

We had a Pimms reception in the garden for afternoon guests with local real ale from the Black Paw Brewery, then full afternoon tea from Crook Hall which was stunning served on the lawn.  In the evening we chose local craft ale from Anarchy Brewery, Morpeth with a classic summer BBQ and ice creams (Scott’s mate’s vintage ice cream van) to go with the music festival theme on the river.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (37)

We chose a three tier round cake, decorated with vintage bunting. Scott’s Mum made the base fruit cake, and Michelle Fortune of Frotchy’s Cakes, Great Lumley, made the top two sponges and decorated the whole cake.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (41)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (47)

In the daytime we had friends of Scott playing acoustic music in the garden, with one of my friends playing harp music through afternoon tea and Luke Howells Magician entertaining throughout.

At night we asked Scott’s mate Steve Maddison to be on DJ duty to get things moving. Then we had a ‘group dance’ with all guests dancing to The Beach Boys ‘Wouldn’t it Be Nice’. We didn’t have a ‘first dance’. Then both of Scott’s bands played (including Scott); The36s playing classic rock and Shakedown playing vintage soul and dance. The entertainment reflected who we are and probably not what was expected but it went down great.

It was a real festival feel (and we even had festival lanyards)!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (49)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (57)

On the day we walked everywhere right through centre of city attracting spontaneous rounds of applause from strangers! A one point we even popped out to the pub to meet up with more friends!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (60)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (62)

There are so many highlights, it’s hard to pick just one! Firstly, the ceremony – walking out of the hall into the garden with my Dad and seeing Scott waiting for me.  Secondly, our guests arriving and the amazing afternoon tea with entertainment.  Thirdly – our walk through Durham – now that turned a few heads! Fourthly, our group dance rather than a first dance – it took people by surprise.  Finally, letting our hair down and enjoying the party.  It was the best day of my life! I wouldn’t change a thing.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (66)

For our honeymoon we did a Pacific North West of America road trip from the super cool San Francisco, via the jaw dropping beauty of Yosemite National Park, through NorCal wine country, up the pacific coastal highway, through redwood country, into beautiful Oregon for the best craft beers on earth, fantastic white water rafting, trekking through forests, climbing snow topped mountains, experiencing the incredible city of Portland and watching live music as much as we could. All in all a truly fantastic place to journey through.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (69)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (71)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t feel you have to follow a set routine. Your wedding day should reflect your personalities. Your family and friends will understand that and your day will be all the better and more relaxed for it. Be yourself!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (74)

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