March 26th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
We may currently be praying for even the tiniest glimpse of spring, but today on the blog we have some breathtakingly beautiful wintery wedding inspiration, perfect for those of you planning a seasonal celebration.
The festivities were in full swing for today’s couple, Suzanne and Bevan, who invited Christmas into their wedding and threw a jewel-coloured, lively celebration that incorporated guest participation, with each guest asked to sing a line from The 12 Days of Christmas during the wedding breakfast.
Suzanne’s desire for foliage and no flowers to keep the decorations seasonal shows how incredible a bouquet can look without the traditional floral additions. Another show-stopper is the cake – an exquisite naked confection studded with foliage and feathers, which perfectly complements the Tudor theme of the wedding breakfast. With an artfully dressed chandelier presiding over long tables in the great hall, Suzanne’s love of this bygone period is evident in the evocative yet simple styling. If this was history coursework, we’d give her an A-star!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Chelsea Shoesmith Photography.
suzanne says: Bevan and I met in Singapore on Tinder, despite both living around the corner from each other in London! One of the first places we headed to as a couple when we were back visiting the UK was Grasmere, where we walked up the Lion and the Lamb. So, when Bevan decided he wanted to propose, he took me back to Grasmere and up to the top of the Lion and the Lamb, where he suggested we take a break. He then pulled from his rucksack what appeared to be a Christmas present (Bevan proposed on 21st December 2016). I opened the gift and it was a book entitled ‘Our Adventures’. Each page was a different picture of our life together so far. When I reached the final page, there was a picture of a jewellery shop with the caption, “I want to ask you to begin another adventure with me” and the next page said, “Will you marry me?” Bevan got down on one knee with a vintage engagement ring – a 1930s blue sapphire with two diamonds either side.
We got married on 22nd December 2017, at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire. As we live overseas, we tried to pick a date when our overseas friends would also be back in the UK. We liked the idea of making the day a big Christmas party. The venue is in my home town of Preston and I love history, especially the Tudor period, so a Tudor house seemed ideal. The ceremony was in the old chapel, the drinks reception in the antechamber and the wedding breakfast in the great hall. Some of our guests stayed overnight in the shepherd’s huts, which are located in the grounds of Samlesbury Hall. Angela, who runs the venue, is amazing at making your day run smoothly and the venue is bursting with character.
The wedding was not a religious ceremony. However, the ceremony itself was very personal to us. We used Cate Baines at The Ceremony Company and she was fantastic. She really set the scene with a flamboyant explanation of how we met.
In terms of a theme, I was keen to have a vintage feel to my dress because of my engagement ring but we didn’t really have a specific theme, other than telling everybody it was first and foremost a Christmas party.
For the colour scheme, I went with champagne (because of my dress having that vintage look), dark green, dark red and dark blue. I wanted to keep the colours simple and in tune with Christmas.
My dress was designed for me by an Irish designer based in Singapore called Elizabeth Gregory Couture. It was great working with Elizabeth. She designed my dress around my engagement ring and she also designed and made my fake fur stole, which I finished off with a vintage brooch that belonged to Bevan’s great grandmother. I added a back necklace by Tilly Thomas Lux and matching hairpins. I’d like to give a shout out to Chloe and Sarah for the fantastic hair and makeup – two lovely working mummies!
Bevan wore a suit, also designed and made by Elizabeth. Her suit brand is called Elizabeth Grace. Bevan wore navy with a beautiful grey waistcoat sporting bright red lining.
February 26th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Here at Brides Up North we’ve almost forgotten what sunshine feels like. It’s been a loooong winter, am I right? Well, today on the blog we’re featuring a wedding that’s guaranteed to heighten your summer cravings – a sun-drenched ceremony, cobalt skies, and a pinky peach colour scheme of dreams – #sorrynotsorry.
Natalie stripped all embellishment from the tulle of her divine Enzoani dress for an elegant ‘naked’ finish and ivory, pale eucalyptus green and gold ruled their palette along with pops of peach. Combined with the sunshine, the blue skies and the lakeside views, their day feels as refreshing as an iced glass of fizz. Just what the doctor ordered.
Brace yourself, readers – summer is on its way!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in Barcelona in September 2016, after watching the magic fountain show. It was just perfect!
Our wedding date was 8th July 2017. We didn’t have a specific reason for the date; we simply wanted to get married in summer 2017, we’d chosen our venue and they had the 8th July available so we snapped it up. I’m studying at university, so the date meant I’d have finished for the summer and would give us time to finalise any details in the run up to the wedding. Oh, and we were also hoping for some summer sun!
We got married at The Fisherman’s Retreat in Ramsbottom. The room where our ceremony was held had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the hills. It was a gorgeously sunny day and we were really lucky to say our vows with such an astonishing view in sight. For the reception we changed rooms so we had full access to the lake and our guests could sit outside to enjoy their drinks and celebrate. We originally chose the venue because it was in such a beautiful location and because they gave us a lot of freedom in terms of how we spent our money. There was a ‘minimum spend’ but we could decide to spend this on whatever we wanted instead of it being a set package like so many other venues.
We had a peach orchard theme to tie into the gorgeous views at the venue. We wanted a friendly, casual but fresh vibe for our guests and it turned out exactly as we wanted.
Colour-wise, we went for peach and gold with lots of greenery, for example eucalyptus leaves for place cards and greenery wrapped around the wooden beams in the ceremony room.
My dress was from Perfect Daze Bridal in Scissett, Huddersfiled. It was from the Enzoani Blue collection and called Janessa. I loved the fabric and had the tulle part reshaped to create a detachable train which I loved! I had the jewels taken off the tulle and shaped so it was ‘naked’ and I adored its simplicity.
January 29th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
This morning we’re catching up with our wonderful Sponsor, North-West based photographer Nik Bryant, who had an epic 2017 and now is all set and raring to go on weddings for 2018.
Keen to ensure his couples have the very best day possible so their joy and emotions are reflected in the gorgeous images he takes, Nik is always willing to go the extra mile for brides and grooms and is often praised for his calm and helpful demeanour.
Furthermore, Nik is eager to offer his couples additional services to document the full picture of the day and so is busy making plans to partner with a videographer. Watch this space!
So, if you’re about to embark on the photography search note the name, as we hear more from Nik on his passion for weddings.
How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?
nik says: Describing my style is a little difficult – I am a little bit documentary and a little bit posed photography I would say. So, floating round and mingling with people and capturing natural moments mixed in with fun portraits.
It’s all about being involved and knowing what’s happening and when something will happen and then being in the right place to capture it. For couple portraits it’s about finding some nice places to shoot and then letting the couple have some time to themselves and interact whilst having fun and getting on their level.
What is it that you love most about your job?
That I get to go to weddings and call it a job! I love photography and have done since I started shooting about 12 years ago. To be able to do something I love and constantly be invited to capture parties and say that it’s my job is pretty cool.
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
I honestly think the most important thing for a couple when looking for a photographer comes in two parts. The first part being that you honestly love their work. Find a photographer whose work you love, even if you don’t know why you love it but it strikes something with you that’s the first part of the battle.
The second part comes with meeting or speaking to your photographer. Making sure you click with them and they are what you want for your wedding as we are there all day and spend so much time with you.
I love getting to know my couples so when it comes to the wedding day it doesn’t feel awkward having me around.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
This is really difficult to answer but a lot of my couples and their families have said that I am really relaxed and easy going but with enthusiasm and excitement throughout the day. I genuinely love my work and get excited for every wedding I shoot.
I find that I have a way of getting on the same level as my couples and it becomes more like having a friend capture their day rather than just a photographer.
I also like to try and capture something of a statement image. Something different and cool!
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?
I think my favourite part of the wedding day is probably bridal prep in the morning. That time meeting up with the bride and all her bridesmaids and mum. Its where it all starts and kind of sets the tone for the day.
The morning is so full of fun and emotion its really great to be around for and to have that insight into the dynamic of a group of bridesmaids and the bride.
Reflecting on 2017 what would you say was your biggest highlight?
Personally, the arrival of my baby boy has been my biggest highlight (my wife will probably read this so if I didn’t say that I would be in trouble).
However, the biggest highlight for 2017 on a professional level has to be the fact that I feel I have really defined my style and how I work and I am really happy with everything I have shot. It was one of the best years for my wedding photography and I have really built my confidence. I have made some amazing friends with my couples and other wedding suppliers too. I have learnt new skills and just learnt to take on whatever happens on a wedding day.
October 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
“Life’s too short” is a phrase and thought responsible for bringing on, or speeding up, many a plan, whether it be booking that holiday of a lifetime, taking the plunge on a new business venture or simply agreeing to a spontaneous night out. For today’s featured couple however, it was that very thought that led to them getting hitched, after Kevin was taken seriously ill in hospital.
Fighting back strong, Kevin spent the next 18 months recovering while Amanda got the big day plans underway and together they achieved their goal of becoming Mr and Mrs, surrounded by family and friends at a stylish venue in the North West.
Working to a budget, creative Amanda kept costs down by doing her own wedding flowers and centrepieces, which looked gorgeous in shades of pink with pretty pearl detailing. We also love Amanda’s Bardot neckline dress, which has the perfect balance of fashion and fairytale.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Robbie Venn Photography.
amanda says: We began planning our wedding after Kevin suffered three cardiac arrests in November 2015 – he was given 5% chance of survival. We realised life is too short so decided to get married. It was more a case of me actually saying: “I think after this I’ll marry you”, and it snowballed from there.
We set the date for 20th May 2017. We didn’t want to wait too long but it also gave Kevin enough time in his recovery.
Our chosen venue was On The 7th, The Landings at Media City, Salford. After looking at several venues we realised we didn’t want the usual white covered chairs style of venue. On The 7th is a modern venue, with stylish décor – we didn’t need to do anything to decorate it. The staff were also amazing, from the wedding coordinator to the master of ceremonies.
I didn’t have a colour in mind for the wedding initially but then I saw a bridesmaid dress style I liked, which was navy, so settled on a navy and pink colour scheme.
I wore a ball gown style dress with a sweetheart bodice, which was from Wed2Be, Bolton. I didn’t know what style would suit me at all, so went with Kevin’s mum try different styles on. Being a larger-chested girl, I had in my mind totally ruled out anything without straps. I tried several dresses on and the last one was the one I ended up choosing – the one with no straps! It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe how it made me feel, and how it didn’t make me look busty, surprisingly.
Kevin wore a navy blue suit from Next with a matching waistcoat and pink tie, pink button hole, and black shoes. The groomsmen’s suits were all from Next too.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London, which were also navy blue, 50’s sort of style. I didn’t want to go for a usual bridesmaid dress. Luckily the dresses suited all bridesmaids. The flowergirl’s dress was from Monsoon.
The bridal party arrived at the venue in a white campervan, from Posh Pampa Campa. I didn’t take in to account how old campervans were at the time of booking! It cut out at each set of traffic lights on the way to the venue, which made the journey all the more memorable. Kevin’s twin brother booked a limousine from bookerlimo.com, which was a surprise to Kevin.
June 29th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
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.
This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.
Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.
With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.
bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”
We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.
We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!
Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.
When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!
The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.
Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.
We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.
Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.
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March 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for wedding photography that’s beautifully emotive and bubbling with energy, then you’re going to be as excited as us about this afternoon’s post, as we’re introducing the fabulous Stella Photography as a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor.
Brimming with enthusiasm, the duo behind the cameras are Zuzi and Seb, who strike the perfect balance between creating relaxed and fun vibes to capture a couple at their very best on their big day.
Based in the North West, but always eager to travel, the Stella team pride themselves on delivering images that rock! So, if you like what you see, be sure to read on for more details on this talented twosome.
Tell us a little about the Stella Photography team?
stella photography say: Our story started more than eight years ago when we (Zuzi and Seb) finished our fine art photography degrees full of passion and ideas. Seb went on to do a masters in photography at LCC in London whilst the business was gradually growing. We are the super creative, energetic social butterflies, buzzing with charisma and fun. Seb’s wife of ten years, Clare, keeps the business running from behind the scenes and keeps our feet firmly on the ground! Zuzi is like family and is godmother to Seb and Clare’s three children. Seb also has a career as a photographic artist with regular solo shows internationally and various publications. He gives talks and workshops in Universities all over the EU. We have more photographers living the dream with us now as the business has developed so much and they bring their new creative ideas and personalities.
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
We are all hopeless romantics. Quite simply, getting married, one love for life, the unity and strength of family and sharing the same name, drew us naturally to wedding photography and finding our niche of vibrant and fun loving brides and grooms. Keeping it real for us.
And what is it about your job that you love?
We just love working with all our couples and their families and being a part of the most special day of their lives. The hanging out with them all over again when their siblings or friends tie the knot. Then seeing all the new baby arrivals! We also love the creative opportunities to explore each unique couple’s loving vibes and chemistry on film and constantly push ourselves to try new, fresh and creative ideas.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
We are really relaxed with bit of quirkiness and fun. We love to blend in, making our couples feel as supported and comfortable as possible and keeping their guests entertained!
What is the feedback like from your clients?
We have the best clients ever and the feedback we get is genuinely heart-warming. They love that we are there for them in every capacity on their day, to make it run as smoothly as possible in a fun and relaxed way. They are overcome by their images, which totally rock!
How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?
We understand that some couples are camera shy but, to be honest, after meeting with our couples at the fayres or for a coffee, they book us as they feel at ease with our natural, fun approach and relaxed vibe. They know that we are all about them on the day and trust that we will get the most beautiful images for them. Spending more time together at a pre-wedding shoot can be invaluable to camera shy couples as they love their pictures so much they become even more excited about their big day.
Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out?
Every wedding we shoot is super special to us as each one is so unique, we love the variety of rural and urban locations as they all present different challenges and ways of working creatively.
Where would be your dream location to shoot?
A desert wedding like Arizona, Vegas… bring it on please… oh the light!
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