Charlotte Balbier

when in rome. a sumptuous wedding at swinton park – victoria & matthew

November 23rd, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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For today’s real wedding, we’re getting swept away by the enchantment of Victoria and Matthew’s beautiful wedding set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

Combining the tradition of a church ceremony with the decadence of a castle, hotel and stately home for their celebrations – this is a wedding with class and sophistication in spades, and we simply adore every little detail from their special day!

With images by Andy Sutcliffe Photography.

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victoria says: Matthew proposed during a surprise break away to Rome, leaving me guessing right until check in at the airport as to where we were going. Little did I know that in the luggage that I’d been carting around, on and off trains and through the airport, there was an engagement ring.

The hotel in Rome had a balcony that overlooked the city and the view was incredible. Every day the hotel staff kept leaving bottles of champagne and strawberries in the room and I had no idea why. I just thought it was all part of their hospitality and even said that we should stay in this hotel more often, as I felt like a princess.

We visited many historical sights and enjoyed sightseeing around the city, including a visit to the Vatican. On the final evening, I was so exhausted from walking around that I suggested that we should stay at the hotel for a meal, but Matthew insisted that we should go out. When we arrived back at the hotel, the balcony had been lit up with candles and there was a large parcel wrapped up on the table with a bottle of champagne. I was very surprised and I thought Matthew was too. Matthew insisted I open the parcel. Initially I thought it was a gift from the hotel, because of all the surprises they kept sending to us each night. I carefully tore the paper and inside was a canvas with photographs of Matthew’s niece and nephews holding up signs reading, “Will you marry Uncle Matthew please?” At this point, Matthew got onto one knee and pulled a ring box from his pocket and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

A few days after we returned home, I received a postcard stamped from Vatican City. Matthew had sent me a postcard when we were in the Vatican City saying that by now he hopes that I am his fiancée and can’t wait to marry me. I didn’t even notice that he had done this and I was with him the whole time. This came as a great surprise. Just as well I said yes!

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We got married on 3rd August 2015. The ceremony took place at St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Richmond, North Yorkshire. We chose this church as it was fairly local to our reception venue – Swinton Park in Masham, North Yorkshire. Our local priest, Father Butters was able to conduct the ceremony too, which made it even more special.

We had a Roman Catholic ceremony with two readings. The first was from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, read by the mother of the groom and then then a reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians read by my godmother. We also had bidding prayers that were read by our eight-year-old nephew Louis, and my cousin Michelle.

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diary date: the black swan wedding open day

October 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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If you’re currently on the hunt for a wedding venue that offers a beautiful rustic setting, stunning reception rooms, first class service and to-die-for food, then we might just be able to help. For our wonderful Sponsor, The Black Swan hotel is inviting brides and grooms-to-be to see its fabulous wedding offering for themselves during a special open day between 12 noon and 4pm on Sunday 6th November.

Located in the idyllic North Yorkshire market town of Helmsley, The Black Swan is renowned for being among the North’s finest weddings venues and has twice been voted ‘Best Venue in the North East’  in the prestigious Wedding Industry Awards.

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During the open day event, couples will be able to see two of the cosy boutique hotel’s unique reception rooms, ‘The Garden Room’ and ‘The Gallery’, each with their own character, individually styled for a wedding reception for up to 50 and 90 guests. It will also provide the perfect opportunity for brides and grooms meet the venue’s preferred suppliers and the friendly in-house team, including wedding coordinator, Nicola Bolden, who can help bring their big day dreams to life.

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The Black Swan houses four welcoming reception rooms in total: ‘The Crosland Room’, ideal for small, wedding sophisticated parties; the hotel’s restaurant ‘The Gallery’, the largest reception room; the cosy and intimate ‘Tudor Lounge’, and the lovely ‘Garden Room’, with its access onto the hotel’s stunning English walled gardens.

Meanwhile for those who wish to marry outdoors, there’s the hotel’s locally hand-crafted oak gazebo, which is licensed for al fresco ceremonies and makes the perfect setting for an English country garden wedding.

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To help couples save time and money when planning their big day, The Black Swan offers an all-inclusive wedding package. Available on select dates during 2017, up to 50 guests can enjoy food and drink, accommodation and many other extras for just £5,600. There’s also a generous 20% discount* off the hotel’s standard wedding package in January, February and March 2017, making the charming venue an even better proposal!

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Preferred suppliers supporting the open day include Emma Dodsworth Photography, Brides of York and the Bridal Lounge Northallerton, Libby Butler Jewellers, Busy Liz’s Floral Design, Kate Pymm Hair and Makeup, Fabulously Finished Events, Celebrate Country Cake Design, Yorkshire Chauffeur Company, and live entertainment, courtesy of magician Mark Waddington, with live music by pianist, David Robertshaw, and vocalist/guitarist, Val Hill.

The event will also include opportunities for canapés and wine sampling from the hotel’s wedding packages. Entry is complimentary and so is car parking at the hotel.

Images by Annemarie King Photography/ supplied by The Black Swan.

*Terms and conditions apply (see website for full details)

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antique elegance. alfred angelo for a relaxed & rustic wedding at the black swan – natalie & bob

May 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding at The Black Swan (c) Glix Photography (37)

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.

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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.

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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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understated elegance. stella york for a diy wedding in north yorkshire – gillian & james

March 16th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A DIY Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Louise Jacob Photography (28)

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.

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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.

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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.

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deep blue sea. jenny packham for a romantic whitby wedding – katie & marcus

March 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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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.

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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.

A Romantic Whitby Wedding (c) Emily & Kate Photography (74)

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.

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dream venue: tanfield house

February 3rd, 2016 | Julia Braime

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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)!

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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!

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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.

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