May 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This morning on the blog we’re taking a little trip to the pretty village of Helmsley in North Yorkshire, as we relive the wedding day of Natalie and Bob.
After a surprise proposal 12 years into their relationship, Natalie was in no mood to wait around and got straight to work planning the big day, starting with the venue. Having come across the stunning Black Swan hotel in Helmsley by chance, Natalie fell head over heels in love with its rustic charm and the other elements of the day soon fell into place for a relaxed and personal wedding, complete with shabby chic décor to complement the rural surroundings.
With images by Glix Photography.
natalie says: Bob and I got engaged on the 12th September 2015 in the Lake District on a family holiday. It wasn’t the most romantic proposal but Bob doesn’t do romance. I put on his jacket because I was cold and pulled the box out of the pocket. I was in total shock because after 12 years it’s always been a standing joke that this day would never happen. He looked at me smiling and said “So are you going to then?” We still laugh at it now.
We got married on the 26th March 2016. We didn’t have a date in mind but this was a date that the venue and registrar were available. We knew we didn’t want a long engagement and if we didn’t just do quickly it would never happen. It also fell on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, which was a plus.
We got married at the Black Swan in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, and it was just perfect. We looked at a few venues but as soon as I walked in by chance, I just knew this was the right venue for us. By chance Nicola Boden, the wedding coordinator, was free and talked me through what the venue could offer and all the packages. I booked the venue there and then without Bob and we later went together to have another look.
I never really had a theme or colour scheme in mind for the wedding, I was very open minded. The decisions were made after I fell in love with the antique purple bridesmaid dresses, which suited them perfectly. So from there it turned into a vintage shabby chic theme.
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March 16th, 2016 | Julia Braime
This morning’s real wedding just goes to show what can be achieved when people pull together and combine their skills.
Keen to keep costs down while getting creative, bride Gillian and groom James, called upon their friends to help style and decorate their wedding venue whilst rolling up their sleeves to pitch in with the pretty too.
The result is a simple yet stylish wedding, filled with meaningful homemade touches that were totally unique to Gillian and James’s big day.
With images by Louise Jacob Photography.
gillian says: We got engaged on the 23rd August 2014. James proposed at our home with a ring box that was made out of a log and had the words ‘Marry Me?’ inscribed on the top. He’d planted it amongst real logs and asked me to light a small fire while he made breakfast. I thought it was strange as it was August and pretty warm but he was very insistent. When I found the box and realised what was happening I was over the moon. When I looked round he was holding two glasses of champagne. It was perfect.
We got married on 26th September 2015. We knew we didn’t want to wait too long to get married as we’d already been together for nearly eight years when James proposed.
We had our ceremony and reception at The Red Lion in Burnsall, North Yorkshire. It’s a lovely rustic style venue nestled in a beautiful part of Yorkshire. It was important to be able to have our friends and family stay over with us and they have a number of rooms available as well as cottages next door.
We didn’t have a theme as such but were going for a look of simple understated elegance. I’m not overly creative but to keep costs down I wanted to do as much of the decorating as possible. I set up Pinterest boards for the different areas of the wedding and enlisted the help of my friend Ros and together with James, we decorated jars and made bunting. The day before the wedding the three of us and my chief bridesmaid Michelle, were busy cutting flowers and putting up fairy lights. It was manic but immense fun.
March 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime
For this morning’s real wedding we’re heading to the beautiful North East coastline to relive the big day of Katie and Marcus.
A surprise pregnancy meant that bride Katie organised the wedding in just seven weeks (no mean feat) but looking at the photos she did an incredible job.
Splitting their celebrations into two parts, Katie and Marcus enjoyed an intimate wedding in the romantic seaside town of Whitby before celebrating back home with all their family and friends during a special wedding garden party under a canvas marquee.
With images by Emily and Katy Photography.
katie says: We got engaged in Whitby on 15th November 2014. It was freezing cold and Marcus begged me to go on this road trip to Whitby, I wanted to have a chilled day at home together with our new born baby but he insisted we went! We walked all around the town; down all these random little cobbled streets, down every cute alley way and all the way to the end of the pier. He finally asked me at the end of Whitby pier – totally unexpected and out of the blue! He was obviously hunting for the perfect place.
We originally set the date for 1st July 2016 but I then found out that I was expecting baby number two in July 2015, meaning I was due in March 2016. With the new recruit on the way (and having always dreamt of being a pregnant bride) we decided to cancel all the original plans and move the wedding forward. So on 4th December 2015 I gave myself just seven weeks to plan a perfect wedding.
We always wanted a small wedding and picked to tie the knot in Whitby, with it being such a special place to us. We got married in the registry office and the rest of the celebrations took place at The White Horse & Griffin, a gorgeous little quirky restaurant and bar with ten bedrooms which we booked out for all our wedding party.
I wasn’t the usual organised ‘bridezilla’ type bride, I just wanted a really informal relaxed wedding that both me and Marcus and our family could enjoy. We had a subtle rustic theme and the table décor was hand designed by myself and my cousin Cassie.
February 3rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
Tanfield House is occupied and run by Allanah & Neil Bourne-Arton, whose family have lived in West Tanfield for 130 years. They have a passion for the heritage of the house and the area, and take great pride in sharing Tanfield House and it’s very special setting with those who want to design a unique and memorable wedding day.
We love a stunning setting here at Brides Up North, so have made it our business to find out more (and especially about some incredible special offers that are up for grabs due to the popularity of the venue)!
Tell Brides Up North about Tanfield House, what is its history?
Now part of the Tanfield Lodge Estate,Tanfield House was originally developed from two Georgian cottages in the Victorian era by Reverend John Clarke, for his daughter and son-in-law, Colonel and Mrs Crompton in the late 19 Century.
While living in Tanfield House, Colonel Crompton was influential in the early development of electricity, including the development of a water turbine which illuminated Tanfield House, using the River Ure at the foot of the garden. As such, Tanfield House was one of the first houses in the UK with electricity. His electricity inventions were also influential in the illumination of the Milan Opera House in 1883.
Height etchings of the Crompton children dating from 1881 can still be found in the house.
Does Tanfield House cater for weddings?
Tanfield House is a very intimate wedding venue with an idyllic English country garden, riverside setting. We offer exclusive use, full use of the hosue and grounds and total flexibility, meaning that you have your day your way!
The venue’s capacity is from 20-140 people, with a maximum of 50 dining in the house and 50+ in Riverside Garden Marquee (additional hire). We are fully licensed for civil ceremonies in our Period Drawing Room and Riverside Pavillion and offer accommodation for up to 9 on site (including our beautiful Cromton Suite bridal suite) with additional accommodation readily available in the village, plus space for camping.
We offer extremely competitive venue hire rates, and the best thing is that we have a no corkage charge policy!
What makes Tanfield House a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?
Tanfield House offers couples an entirely exclusive and bespoke experience. They simply hire the venue and curate their day their way. They enjoy use of the house and grounds for two full days around their wedding, exclusively for them and their wedding party only. We want all our couples to feel very at home at Tanfield House.
January 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime
We are fortunate to hold our Luxury Wedding Exhibitions at some of the finest venues in the north, from historic castles and fascinating manor houses to gorgeous boutique hotels, which means we’re pretty clued up when it comes to finding the perfect place to say those all-important ‘I dos’.
One such venue that features highly on our list is the stunning Middleton Lodge tucked away in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. With a magnificent manor house, stylish accommodation, heavenly Treatment Rooms and to-die-for-food, this is one of those venues that has something to offer to all. Shh! We’ve also heard that there may be a few very limited, select dates still available at the venue in 2016 – info that you might be wanting to keep to yourselves!
On Sunday 10th April 2016, we will be staging one of our fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions at this super chic venue giving brides and grooms the opportunity to see its amazing big day offering for themselves, but in the meantime we’ve asked Anna Russell, Middleton Lodge’s wedding and events manager, to give us a taste of what couples can expect…
Where is Middleton Lodge located?
anna says: Middleton Lodge is situated in a stunning location just on the outskirts of Richmond in North Yorkshire. It’s a gorgeous Georgian country estate, nestled within 200 acres of grounds, with views across the Yorkshire Dales and Cleveland Hills.
Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?
Middleton Lodge was built for Leonard Hartley, a local mining family, in 1780 and designed by renowned architect John Carr of York.
The main house remains a family home and is available for exclusive private hire, whilst the Coach House is an award-winning restaurant with rooms.
The house has a stunning main atrium and reception rooms with vistas across parkland towards the North Yorkshire Moors. There are 17 guest bedrooms along with a snooker room, library bar, drawing room, dining room, guest kitchen and cellar bar.
The Allison family bought the estate in 1980 and over the last 30 years have sensitively restored the estate to its former glory. Couples now have the choice of the beautiful 17th century reception rooms in the main house, with space for up to 80 guests, or for those looking for something bigger we have our marquee. This canvas can hold up to 200 guests, providing a large space to decorate with your own spectacular touches, creating an event that is truly personal and unique to your wedding.
Launched in 2014, The Coach House at Middleton Lodge is located in the 200 acres grounds of Middleton Lodge. The boutique hotel and restaurant is a fresh take on a country retreat, offering an authentic and contemporary setting for guests to relax and enjoy.
Full of original character, The Coach House has been sensitively restored to create an original space, with 14 bedrooms altogether, five of which are part of the Scandinavian inspired Farmhouse, all located only a few footsteps from the bar and restaurant.
Each bedroom has been personalised and designed to reflect the style and spirit of the restaurant and hotel. Carefully selected quirky antiques and unique pieces from local craftsman create a unique ambience for each room.
Does Middleton Lodge cater for weddings?
Yes. Couples have the chance to host family and friends in their own private mansion for their exclusive wedding, with personal staff, private chefs, 17 bedrooms and the freedom to have the day exactly the way they want it.
Guests can hide away late into the evening in the atmospheric Cellar Bar at Middleton Lodge. With exposed bricks and vaulted ceilings, you can dance the night away, enjoy the late license bar or relax and toast the morning sunrise across the stunning hills that surround the country estate.
Is Middleton Lodge licensed for civil ceremonies?
Yes, we are fully licensed in three different areas of the Lodge. The Inner Hall, which seats up to 75 and up to 130 additional guests standing on the balcony. The Drawing Room, which seats up to 75, and the Outside Pavilion (weather dependent) which is available for 100 seated on gravel area, more if lawn is dry.
The Treatment Rooms are a recent addition to Middleton Lodge, can you tell us about the facilities?
The Treatment Rooms offer a variety of facials and massages, using the most organic and natural products from exclusive brands REN and VOYA. Derived from plants and minerals, REN’s core principle focus on purity, pleasure and high performance. VOYA is a completely organic seaweed based product range that’s hand harvested in Ireland by the same family-run business.
Located just footsteps from the main house, the therapists at The Treatment Room offer everything from wedding make up to blissful massages and luxurious manicures, all perfect for the bridal party and guests to indulge and relax ahead of the big day.
July 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
If there’s one thing that makes me go weak at the knees, other than gorgeous weddings, it’s a cute dog.
Having grown up with canine companions a firm part of the family, there aren’t many mutts that don’t evoke a genuine ‘ahh’ from me. So when our fabulous Sponsor, The Black Swan hotel, sent over the results of a recent styled shoot at the venue, which featured a fine Irish Red Setter, it was a ‘yes’ from me.
The ‘groom’ isn’t bad either, is he?!
Located in the idyllic North Yorkshire village of Helmsley, the black swan is the perfect venue for a romantic country-inspired wedding (did you catch the beautiful celebration we shared on the wedding blog this morning?). With this in mind the hotel welcomed photographer Annemarie King and a talented bunch northern wedding suppliers, to use the venue as a stunning backdrop for a rustic luxe styled shoot, complete with dapper tweed, natural blooms and detailed dresses.
The setting of the hotel brings all elements to life for an incredibly well-executed shoot that will make you go ‘ooh’ and well as ‘ahh’ (and not just over that dog). So let’s handover to The Black Swan for those all important details…
With images by Annemarie King.
the black swan says: The well-loved country charm, welcoming atmosphere and quaint English gardens, overlooking the pretty churchyard next door, made The Black Swan the perfect venue for Annemarie King and her team to co-create a rustic-luxe themed photographic campaign.
Model James with his red-haired beauties, ‘bride’ Zara and Connor, the Irish Red Setter, are on location at the hotel and also at Helmsley Walled Gardens, which brings the theme to life with a touch of nostalgia. The evocative images are intimate, dream-like, and sometimes fun and light-hearted.
The timeless, informal elegance of the photography mirrors the essence of this historic hotel venue – the smartly-tailored handsome groom James, in his Yorkshire tweeds and smartly polished brogues, along with his bride’s sweet, ethereal beauty and swan-like elegance make for a beautiful pairing, and Connor certainly adds a special appeal to the ‘family shots’.
The various settings demonstrate the hotel’s oak beamed Tudor Lounge, the oldest part of the venue with its original inglenook, and the cosy stone-walled Crosland Lounge, as well as the pretty English walled gardens, in which The Black Swan’s new Oak Gazebo is located, which is now available for outdoor summer wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Helmsley Walled Gardens also plays a part, giving a super botanical backdrop to the shots.
A creative team led by York photographer Annemarie King, is responsible for the shoot with all those who offered their talents and goods on the day doing a fantastic job. Two of Annemarie’s passions are showcased within the shoot as she’s an award-winning photographer specialising in both country weddings and canine photography.
The shoot’s retro-inspired gowns, which include the Alan Hannah’s Tara long lace gown, White Rose’s 50s style R920 gown, Angel B’s peppermint bridesmaid dress Am 242, and the flamboyant Cymbeline Adele design, were kindly loaned by The Bridal Lounge in Northallerton, along with selected accessories.
Carters Country Wear provided the tweed tailored outfit sported by groom, James. Carters specialise in suits and country wear tailored with cloth from Saville Row and Yorkshire tweed mills, with a particular emphasis on country sportswear. They enjoy an international clientele who value their quality and highly personalised service.
Much of the jewellery was generously loaned by Libby Butler Jewellery, located in Helmsley.
The striking makeup and hairstyling of our bride Zara, is by award-winning hair and make-up artist Kate Pymm, who based in the North East and works throughout the UK on a wide portfolio of projects, including bridal hair and makeup.
The sweet bouquets and simple floral arrangements with home-grown ‘grandma’s cottage garden blooms’ inspired by the rural-luxe theme, were all created by Liz Wood at Busy Liz’s Floral Design, of Kirbymoorside.
To complete the stellar line-up, Celebrate Country Cake Design, located in Helmsley’s Walled Gardens, supplied the cake, Fabulously Finished, of Ampleforth, supplied the props and the chair covers were loaned by Chair Covers of Yorkshire, located in Easingwold.
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