April 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The vintage theme has been popular with wedding couples of late and so we’re used to seeing wonderful weddings featuring this styling landing in the Brides Up North inbox. However, there was something about today’s couple’s wedding that made it stand out that bit more than others – it was pretty (oh so pretty) but it was also personal.
Rather than hiring all the décor from one company to achieve the desired kitsch look, bride Katie rolled up her sleeves (and also called upon those closest to her) to help create beautiful handmade detailing that made the day feel all the more special.
Two stars of the show were Katie and Phil’s mums who sound like they could give Kirstie Allsopp a run for her money when it comes to crafting skills.
Enjoy the pretty…
With images by Katie Byram Photography.
katie says: It was our three year anniversary and also the day we had our offer accepted to buy our first home in London when Phil proposed to me. We were at home having a celebratory meal. I was half way through my chocolate pudding when Philip said he had a surprise for me. When he got down on one knee I couldn’t stop laughing! But eventually managed to say “yes”. I didn’t suspect a thing so was definitely very surprised!
We set the date for 9th August 2014. No particular reason, but we chose August as we thought that it would be the least likely time of year to rain in the North East. It actually did still rain on the day, but definitely didn’t ruin anything.
We got married at St Mary’s Church in Morpeth. I went to this church when I was growing up so it meant a lot to me to get married there.
We chose Eshott Hall as our reception venue. We loved Eshott from the moment we walked in the door on our visit there. We knew from the start that we wanted a venue that could offer us exclusivity. The thing we loved about Eshott was that although it is a beautiful building in itself, it also offered us the opportunity to be really creative and to decorate it as we wanted. We would highly recommend the venue to other wedding couples, we absolutely loved it!
We had a vintage theme, but wanted to be able to add a personal touch. Both of our mums are very creative and helped to make lots of decorations for the venue. My mum sewed the beautiful floral and lace bunting, cushions with our initials on and lace chair sashes. Philip’s mum meanwhile was very busy making all of our vintage style stationery, including the invitations, place tags, table plan, table names, confetti cones and guestbook.
We chose pretty pastel colours and flowery patterns for the main reception room to accompany our theme.
After trying on about 50 dresses in all different styles, I knew what kind of dress I definitely didn’t want but still didn’t have a clear idea of what I did want! I visited YAP in Newcastle and instantly fell in love with the first dress I tried on. I loved the simplicity of the skirt and the lace detail. Once the decision had been made, Jo at YAP popped open a bottle of fizz so that I could celebrate with my mum, mother-in-law and auntie – a really special moment. I added a sash with a vintage flower which was made by Anne at Diva Designs and wore Rachel Simpson shoes in a design called Katie.
My bridesmaids were four of my best friends from school and they wore pale pink Button Belle dresses from YAP with floral sashes and shoe clips made by Anne at Diva Designs.
For transport we chose a silver Bentley hired from Sunderland Wedding Cars. The bridesmaids travelled in a mint green campervan from AllCool Classic VW Camper Hire. We also hired a vintage bus from Weardale Company for our guests to travel on from the church to the reception venue.
Katie Byram was our wedding photographer. She was amazing and photographed the day perfectly. She has a very natural style, capturing candid moments, which was exactly what we wanted. We would highly recommend her.
Lavenders Blue in Morpeth provided my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets too. We were keen for the flowers to look quite wild and natural, which Lavenders Blue achieved beautifully. I also had sprigs of feverfew (daisies) pushed into the plait in my hair.
Lavenders Blue provided flowers for the table decorations and we hired candelabras and vintage china teacups and saucers from Lavenders Blue too. We hired birdcages from The Finishing Touch Company and our vintage side plates were hired from Flawless Weddings & Events in Morpeth.
We added pink and mint green pom poms to the trees outside of the venue, made by Flawless Weddings & Events. They looked amazing and really magical. Flawless also provided jars and scoops for our sweetie table.
We went to auctions and charity shops in the local area to collect the beautiful lace and embroidered table clothes we used. My bridesmaids and I also spent an afternoon decorating small glass candle holders and jam jars with offcuts of material, old jewellery, buttons and hessian. I love that they added a really personal touch to the tables. On the day we used vintage photo frames as holders for our table names, which I love and will use to display our wedding photographs around our home.
For favours we gave out British Heart Foundation pin badges.
Dreamworld Cakes made our pretty cupcake cake in pastel colours while all the other food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall.
Colin Cook was a fantastic DJ on our wedding day, keeping all our guests entertained. We chose a mixture of our favourite tunes – mainly 90s pop! It was really important to us that the children we invited to our wedding were a special part of the day. To keep them entertained during the speeches we put together colouring books, soft toys and bubbles into canvas backpacks with their names on.
For some extra entertainment we hired a photo booth from Smiley Booth. I would definitely recommend this company. One strip of photographs was stuck into our guestbook so that our guests could write messages next to them and the guests could take the second strip home as a memento of the day. They’re hilarious and we love looking back over them to remind us of the day.
My favourite part of the day was walking into the church and seeing Philip’s face. Philip’s cousin is a professional musician and played Canon in D on the viola as I walked down the aisle. It was a beautiful moment, although I did cry most of way down!
For our honeymoon we went to Santorini and stayed at Absolute Bliss in Imerovigli, a small boutique hotel with a beautiful view over the sea and cliffs. It is a lovely island and we would definitely recommend it.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be that making some of the venue decorations and wedding stationery yourself is a great way to add a personal touch to the day and to save a bit of money. Collect some pieces of pretty material, pop open the fizz and get creative!
January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
With images by GS Studio.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!)
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.
We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our biggest wish for married life is just to keep on being us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.
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.
For our honeymoon we did a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Death Valley, Yosemite and the Pacific Highway.
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.
December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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