August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we meet husband and wife-to-be Amanei and Erik, as they share with us their love story and the results of their stunning engagement shoot. The Alnwick Garden provides a beautiful backdrop for the shoot and will also be the setting for Amanei and Erik’s impending big day.
So let’s join them on a stroll around the grounds as we find out the all-important how, when and where’s.
With images by Julie Barron Photography.
amanei says: Erik proposed just before midnight on 25th October 2014. We were at the Oblix Restaurant at The Shard, during an amazing weekend away in London. As a surprise he’d also arranged for some of my family to be there the following day for a meal together to celebrate before travelling home. It was all a surprise, however as he’d had the ring since August, I knew it was on the cards!
We chose to set the date for 22nd November 2015 as we really wanted a winter wedding, but didn’t want it to be too close to Christmas (no Santa at our reception please).
Our ceremony is to be held at our local and gorgeous parish church and after a lot of searching we found the perfect winter reception venue, The Alnwick Garden.
We first met in the office at work. Erik was my (not so secret) Santa shortly after he moved to the same department I was working in (he bought me knitted slipper socks that were three sizes too big!) He is insistent however that for the first months after meeting him, I completely ignored him! After a number of ‘espresso coffee’ dates at work, our first official date was at the intimate Dacantus restaurant in Newcastle in spring last year. We still sometimes go in for a sneaky glass of wine when we’re passing Grey Street and reminisce about how perfect it was!
I suppose it’s true what they say, that when you meet ‘the one’ you know instantly, because that’s definitely what happened in our case – the choice is I suppose, made for you! Erik is my absolute rock and that’s why I love him so much. I know that he will support me, and our relationship, through thick and thin and whatever married life may throw at us. He’ll be an amazing husband.
Erik says that he knew from the beginning, when we first used to go for coffee together that I was that ‘one’ special person. He proposed very quickly but says that’s because he doesn’t have any doubts about us.
We both have our little downfalls though. No matter how often I tell Erik not to, he always feeds our Chihuahua Miles, some of his dinner, and Erik says I can be a bit of a control freak – he wishes I would just relax a little bit more.
Our biggest wish for married life is to have a solid, stable, supportive home and to make each other happy, that’s all we can ever wish for – anything else is a bonus!
Our wedding photographer Julie was recommended to us by a friend and as we had never worked with her before we took her up on the offer of an engagement shoot. We want very natural, unobtrusive and relaxed photography to capture our day and were confident that Julie was the right choice, but the engagement shoot concreted that for us. Phew!
We were definitely nervous beforehand, however Julie really put us at ease and we really enjoyed the session, but most importantly we now know that on the day we’ll feel comfortable while Julie is photographing us – which is so important.
The timing of the engagement shoot was also perfect as we’ve just moved into our beautiful new house, so we’re planning on framing some of the stunning pictures to make it feel like more of a home – it’s just a little difficult to decide on those select few, as we love so many!
I love Brides Up North because I find the amount of local contacts, suppliers and events featured are really useful in preparing all of those little details for the day! For us being able to contact suppliers who are local enough to meet up with and discuss ideas face to face is really important. We hope to return to share our big day on the blog.
August 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though today’s couple remained in the north of the UK to tie the knot, they looked to the dreamy country of Italy to provide romantic influences to help set the scene for their big day.
A soft colour palette of pink and white reflected through Rachel’s choice of bridesmaid dresses and blooms created an elegant feel which was further enhanced with pretty lace additions in the bride’s dress, the stationery and décor.
When the big day came to an end, Rachel and Jonathan continued their love affair with Italy by jetting off to Venice on a five-day honeymoon. Oh, and the lucky little things have a second honeymoon to Mexico all lined up too. Jealous much?
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.
rachel says: We initially met very briefly at a bar in Darlington. Two weeks later we bumped into one another whilst out with friends in Yarm – the rest, as they say, is history! We had been together for five years when Jonathan proposed whilst we were on holiday on the island of Thassos in Greece, back in August 2013. He popped the question to me whilst we were sipping cocktails in a little bar overlooking the sea. I of course said ‘yes’ and we spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne and celebrating our news with the locals. I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning and amazing setting.
We got married on 4th May 2015. We both love every season for its uniqueness but chose May for our wedding month as we thought that the scenery at the chosen venue would be beautiful at that time of year. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the 4th May is also known as ‘Star Wars Day’ to its fans. Luckily all guests dressed suitably and there was not a fancy dress costume in sight!
We got married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. We found the venue from an article I was reading in a magazine. The article detailed how Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had visited the hall for his brother’s wedding and had stayed in the Crow’s Nest, a luxury self-contained apartment. We were amazed by the pictures of Eshott. We both fell in love with the stain glass window and staircase in the main part of the hall. We arranged an appointment to visit straight away.
Our theme was Italian romance as we wanted the day to be very elegant. To complement the theme we had a blush pink and white colour scheme with touches of lace, which emphasised the soft romantic feel we were looking for.
I had a few ideas of the type of dress I wanted and visited a number of bridal boutiques before going back to one of the first dresses I tried on at Dobinsons of Darlington. The dress was very ‘me’. It was a lace design with a sweetheart neckline by Stella York. I always knew I wanted lace and something figure hugging due to my petite frame. I decided to add a unique feature to the dress to make it my own and so Dobinson’s stitched a diamante belt into the gown. This finished it off perfectly and when the long veil went on, I was totally in love!
On the wedding day I used Paul David Hairdressers in Darlington to style my hair, and Make-up by Jo to do the beauty side of things. My makeup stayed fresh all day, and Jo gave such a professional service.
Jonathan wore a three piece blue suit hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.
The bridesmaids dresses were purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. Again to add some uniqueness to the dresses we purchased embellishments for the dresses and Poppy’s added these for us. We all agreed they looked perfect.
Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography took our wedding day photos. We knew from day one that they would be our perfect choice as they were the photographers at my sister’s wedding some nine years earlier. We both love Stan and Jane’s work and knew they would capture our very special moments. The experiences, from the pre wedding shoot, to the big day and then seeing our wedding pictures presented to us on a big screen, were all amazing. We felt that both Stan and Jane put in a lot of effort getting to know us. On the day they both made us feel at ease and felt like one of our friends. Having received our photos we would highly recommend Stan Seaton Photography. The photographs captured both myself and Jonathan’s personality and also special candid moments. We wanted the images to be elegant and romantic and we both feel that Stand and Jane instinctively understood this.
Due to our ceremony being held in the chapel, which was within the grounds of the venue, we did not have a need for transportation, however I was taken to the chapel in my father’s car which was beautifully decorated with wedding bows.
Our invitations were made by Polina Perri, who specialise in luxury/ vintage wedding invitations. They were beautifully presented and featured an antique brooch and lace.
Our flowers were provided by Eliza Bloom in Darlington. My bouquet was made up of pink and white roses. In the reading room/ chapel we had a tall candelabra with an arrangement on the register table and outside we had an arch decorated with flowers. In the wedding breakfast we had eight table candelabras with candles and flowers and an arrangement at the top table. The room looked so elegant and beautiful. When you see all the little touches coming together it really does take your breath away.
We gave our guests ‘his and hers’ favours in the form of alcohol miniatures; Baileys for the ladies and a selection for the men. For the children we had a chocolate pot from Hotel Chocolat.
Our cake was a work of art created by Burnett 4 Cakes and had a different flavour in each of the four tiers: chocolate orange, chocolate, lemon drizzle and sponge.
We choose the Chameleon Band to provide our entertainment. We researched a lot of bands but these came highly recommended and they were worth it, they even asked us for a list of ‘special songs’ for them to learn which they then played on the night. We also had a pianist playing at the reception, which was beautiful.
Following our wedding I would highly recommend Eshott Hall to other couples. It not only blew us away, but our guests can’t stop talking about it!
Our favourite part of the wedding had to be seeing each other for the first time on the day. We had spent so long preparing for our wedding day, that when the moment came and we finally saw each other we both got very emotional, as did the congregation.
When it came to the honeymoon we were spoilt and booked two! We went on a five night break to Venice, straight after the wedding. We loved it, we transferred to and from Venice in a private speedboat and stayed in an amazing hotel Carlton on the Grand. Our room there overlooked the Grand Canal – it was truly amazing, we felt like royalty. We had some fantastic experiences in a variety of excellent restaurants, a trip we will never forget!
We now look forward to heading to Mexico for two weeks, where our days will be filled lounging on the golden sands by the beautiful sea and then on an evening we will be spoilt with some amazing food in some fabulous restaurants sipping cocktails at the Excellence Riviera Hotel as husband and wife!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be to savour every moment as the day goes by so quickly.
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July 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s wedding is centred around the bride’s family’s gardening and floristry background meaning there are lots of pretty blooms and botanical touches peppered throughout.
To follow their church ceremony, Faye and Mike chose Headlam Hall as their reception venue which boasts its own fabulous gardens, further adding to the theme.
In memory of Faye’s dad Keith, who sadly passed away the year before the wedding, there were lots of touching tributes, including special speeches and favours.
All in all a personal and blooming beautiful day!
With images by Tim Stewart Photography.
faye says: We got engaged on 24th December 2011. Mike told me that they were going out for the day because it was Christmas Eve but didn’t tell me where. Upon arrival at Whitworth Hall Hotel, in Spennymoor, Mike suggested that we feed the deer and then took me to a quiet place in the gardens where he got down on one knee and asked me for my hand in marriage.
We set the date for 9th August 2014. We chose the date because we are both teachers and we wanted a summer wedding so we could enjoy a longer honeymoon.
Our chosen venue was Headlam Hall Hotel, near Gainford. We chose the hotel because of its picturesque gardens, wonderful staff and phenomenal facilities. It also came highly recommended at wedding fayres.
The theme was growing and based around my family’s gardening background; our garden centre and floristry business. Our wedding quote was ‘let love blossom’. With this in mind we chose a green colour scheme.
I had my mum to give me away at the ceremony as my dad Keith, had sadly passed away the year before the wedding. The service was very personal and included a hymn dedicated to my dad.
I wore a fine laced fishtail dress which was trimmed with pearls and diamantes. My full length veil was then held in place by a matching side headdress of pearls and diamantes. The designer of the dress was Essense of Australia and I bought from Dobinsons of Darlington. Mrs Dobinson was extremely helpful throughout and offered good advice. I chose the dress due to the detail on the one shoulder strap, which I loved.
Mike wore a charcoal grey suit with a silver waist coat hired from Affleck and Moffat, Darlington. He also wore a slim green handmade cravat by Dobinsons of Darlington, which was made using the same material as the bridesmaid dresses. The groomsmen wore identical outfits to Mike, again hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.
The pageboys had stylish green bow ties, grey shorts, grey braces, white shirts and cool white Converse high tops. Our youngest page boy was a baby and he wore a silk, white rompa suit with a green bow tie and white Converse high tops to match the elder two boys.
My bridesmaids had short silk, blue grass green dresses and carried green anthuriums, while our flower girl wore a full length ivory tulle dress with a green silk sash and a bow on the skirt. All dresses and accessories were purchased from Dobinsons of Darlington.
We travelled to the venue in a coffee and cream Brenchley car, hired from GW Holmes & Son, based in Bishop Auckland.
We chose Tim Stewart, from Northallerton, as our wedding photographer. We would highly recommend Tim due to the extremely personalised service that he offers. Prior to the wedding we had various meetings and discussed key photos we would like and whereabouts. To our benefit, Tim was also married at Headlam so knew the venue extremely well.
We also hired a videographer, Paul Robinson of PER Productions, who produced a wonderful wedding DVD capturing our precious moments.
July 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple tied the knot in an iconic part of Newcastle, down by the Millennium Bridge.
Mixing old with new Katy-Rose and Chris chose a modern setting for their Quayside wedding in the form of the Malmaison hotel and then mixed in subtle vintage touches through their transport and attire choices.
Though a small and intimate wedding it looks like a good party followed the ceremony with a blues band providing the evening entertainment.
With images by Barry Forshaw Photography.
katy-rose says: We got engaged in Barcelona in 2007. Chris was so emotional he couldn’t actually ask me to marry him so he just pushed the ring on my finger – thankfully it would have been a ‘yes’!
We chose to get married on 15th May 2015 as May is our favourite month of the year and we also liked how the date looked written down – 15.05.15.
We got married at Gateshead Registry office and then had the reception/evening do at Malmaison on the Quayside. We knew we wanted a very small wedding (18 during the day, 50 altogether on the night) so we thought Malmaison would be the perfect venue – and it was!
The wedding was loosely inspired by the 1920s. My dress had a vintage look about it as did the car we hired and the band we chose had a vintage feel too. During our meal we played music from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Etta James and Frank Sinatra to set the scene.
Other than the bouquet, button holes and my make-up there wasn’t really a colour scheme, we kept things quite relaxed in that respect.
I wore a gorgeous 1920s style beaded dress from YAP Bridal, based in Newcastle. It is a beautiful and simple dress with a sweet heart neckline, intricate beading and elegant train. YAP Bridal were fantastic from beginning to end, they really made me feel special! To complete my look Cheryl Watson from Washington styled my hair on the day which I was delighted with!
Chris wore a lovely slate grey suit from Debenhams with a purple and silver tie.
On the day I travelled in a vintage style 1920s Regents car which was provided by Brooklands Wedding Cars, based in Durham. The car was stunning and the driver was so lovely, he really eased my nerves!
Barry of Barry Forshaw Photography was our photographer and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy! He has a lovely nature and put us at ease straight away. The photographs are beautiful and they capture my family and friends’ personalities really well! We couldn’t recommend him enough!
I carried a beautiful bouquet which consisted of roses, lavender and ivy. Helen from Flower Fever provided the bouquet and button holes and we would highly recommend her to others!
In terms of décor, we kept the table really simplistic, so instead of flowers we used black slate and pillar candles to decorate.
As favours we gave our guests cute cupcakes. When it came to the main wedding cake – I made my own! It was a fruit cake soaked in a lot of brandy! I decorated it with the flowers my Nanna had made for our engagement cake.
To keep our guests entertained we hired a fantastic blues band called Monkey Junk who played on the wedding night. We love blues music and especially love the sound of slide guitar!
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other brides and grooms. Malmaison is a modern venue with great style and atmosphere. They made sure I didn’t have to worry about anything on the day and took care of every last detail. It was also very relaxed and they use their initiative if things are going ahead/behind schedule. Excellent venue!
My favourite part of the day was the wedding breakfast, seeing all of my family and friends together, celebrating with a lovely meal.
After the wedding we jetted off to New York for six days. We had been before in 2010 and knew immediately that it would be the perfect place for our honeymoon. Greenwich Village is our favourite place to hang out.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to take in and enjoy every moment because it does go very fast!
June 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime
While we love to see the quirky wedding themes that certain couples pull out of the bag here at Brides Up North HQ, we also never tire a classic and romantic themed celebration like Emma and Mark’s big day.
After a decade together, Emma and Mark tied the knot during a traditional church ceremony followed by an elegant reception at Rockliffe Hall, complete with pretty styling in loved-up hues of pale pink and champagne.
Emma looked absolutely stunning in her lace Pronovias gown but was also keen for her maids to feel amazing on the big day too and so let them choose their dress style for the wedding. Certainly no sign of Bridezilla here then!
With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Stan Seaton Photography.
emma says: Mark and I had been together for eight years when he proposed. We met at college at 16. Mark proposed to me in our flat in Gateshead on Christmas Day. I remember the morning vividly, in fact he hadn’t slept well all night! He woke very early on Christmas morning, showered and shaved and encouraged me to get dressed. I insisted on staying in my PJs like I always do on Christmas Day. Mark let me open my other presents under the Christmas tree. There was then a large box left at the back of the tree. As I unwrapped it I quickly saw there was a smaller box inside. At this point Mark went down on one knee and popped the question! My family were excitedly waiting to see the ring at Christmas dinner.
Our wedding was the 3rd August 2014. We were very keen to have a summer wedding and hoped for a warm sunny day which we were fortunate enough to get. With being a teacher it made sense having a summer wedding as we have lots of family and friends who are teachers who we wanted at the wedding. It also allowed a good amount of time off for our honeymoon.
We got married at St Philip and St James Church in Witton-le-Wear. I was born and raised in Witton village and the church was very meaningful to me and my family as it was where my younger brother and I were christened.
We then travelled to Rockliffe Hall for our reception. My mum encouraged me to visit Rockliffe Hall when we were first planning the wedding and as soon as we stepped inside we knew it had to be our venue. Rockliffe Hall is absolutely stunning and the staff are so accommodating.
We chose to get married in 2014 as that year we celebrated our tenth anniversary together. We chose a ‘Ten Years in Love’ theme where each table name was a year we had spent together with a picture of something special we had done during that year. We were both keen to keep the style of the wedding as traditional as possible and so went for a romantic feel with pink and cream roses.
We chose champagne as our wedding colour scheme as it fitted well with our romantic theme. My bridesmaids were at the front of my mind when picking the colours for the wedding as I wanted a colour that they would all feel comfortable wearing.
I knew from the beginning of planning the wedding that I wanted a lace wedding dress. Though I did make sure to try on other styles too. I was keen to wear a fitted lace dress and chose a beautiful Pronovias gown from Mia Sposa in Newcastle.
Mark was keen to buy himself and the other groomsmen a suit that fitted well. This wasn’t the easiest of tasks as we had to find a suit that would fit both my 16-year-old brother and our dads! We purchased the suits from T M Lewin. We hired the ivory waistcoats from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington and bought the champagne ties and pocket squares from Moss in Newcastle.
The bridesmaids were a great help in finding their dresses. I was keen for them to help shop for them as I wanted them to feel comfortable and happy on the day. We found their champagne BIBA dresses in House of Fraser. They looked beautiful.
For the big day we hired a Daimler and a Beauford from Classic Wedding Cars. My dad and I travelled in the Beauford and our bridesmaids and my mum travelled in the Daimler. Mark travelled with our best man in his car alongside my brother and his brother. Mark and I then travelled to Rockliffe in the Beauford.
Our photographers were Jane Miller and Stan Seaton from Stan Seaton Photography in Darlington. There was no question about choosing Stan and Jane as our photographers as my family had already worked with them before on a family photo shoot. We took a look at their wedding albums at a wedding fayre and were blown away by the quality of their work. They are both extremely professional but also very friendly and helpful.
On the day they felt more like our guests than photographers. Many of our guests commented on their work on the day of the wedding and also since seeing our wedding album. We would highly recommend them and can’t wait to work with them again in the future – perhaps when we have a family of our own!
I carried a beautiful bouquet made by Flowers by Nattrass in Darlington. I chose to have pink and avalanche roses in my bouquet as they are my favourite flowers. The flowers also worked extremely well with the colour scheme and complemented both my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Nattrass also supplied our flowers for the church and reception. Laura from Nattrass was extremely helpful when we were choosing our flowers as we were unsure how to decorate the room. Laura invited us down to the Rockliffe during a wedding fayre to see an idea set up on the table. It was a great help to visualise the room and we ended up going for that display. We had roses inside large martini glasses.
We had our wedding stationery designed by Kristen from Noble Fine Art. She was an excellent help and certainly very patient as we made our decision. We could not have asked for nicer wedding stationary. They complemented the tables in the orangery extremely well.
We wanted to keep the traditional part of the wedding of cutting the cake but neither of us were too worried about spending lots of money on a cake. As such, we bought a jam and sponge wedding cake from Marks & Spencer and decorated it ourselves with fresh roses from Nattrass and champagne ribbon.
Choosing the menu for the wedding breakfast was a huge highlight of our wedding planning (especially for Mark). We knew all the food at Rockliffe would be stunning and we found it extremely difficult to choose.
For our wedding day entertainment we chose to have David Ball play the piano during the drinks reception. Later in the evening he also performed a live set with his guitar and sang a range of songs from Buble to Kings of Leon. We also had a photo booth for guests to have fun with the props. This worked well as our guestbook too as they stuck their photos in alongside a message and then had a set of photos to take away with them as a wedding favour.
A very special touch to our wedding day was my younger brother Patrick playing me down the aisle. He played Trumpet Voluntary on his trumpet. A family friend of ours Ali Cochlan also sung a modern version of Ave Maria whilst we signed the register.
Later in the day my parents surprised us with another performance by Ali and Richi of May You Stay Forever Young by Bob Dylan as part of my dad’s speech. That was a real tear jerker for all the guests but a wonderful surprise too.
Rockliffe Hall is a stunning venue and we would certainly recommend it to others. We especially enjoyed having our wedding breakfast in the orangery as it was so light and airy. It felt so private to us and the guests. The staff are extremely helpful and on the day everything felt seamless. The grounds of Rockliffe are superb and made for great photo opportunities. Overall it was a perfect experience and we certainly didn’t want to leave the next day!
Our favourite part of the day has to be exchanging our vows in front of all our family and friends. We had both known from an early age that we wanted to marry each other and when the day finally came we couldn’t wait. We both also enjoyed the evening reception where we got to relax and party with our close friends and family, some of which had travelled some distance to be there so it was great to catch up with them!
We went to Santorini in Greece on our honeymoon. Mark actually booked it as a surprise and I had no clue where we were going until we reached the departure lounge! It was a great feeling having the surprise after a busy 22 months planning the wedding. The only difficulty I had was knowing what to pack! Lots of my friends asked me how I felt leaving the honeymoon plans to Mark but I knew I could trust his decisions. We spent a glorious two weeks away in the sun eating lots of beautiful Greek food.
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be that although at times you can get carried away with the wedding plans (and sometimes get stressed) remember what the big day is really all about. The only important thing that matters on the day is that you are committing to spend the rest of your life with your best friend and the person you love. Don’t let the small things worry you!
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