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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

love in bloom. martina liana for an enchanting wedding at the alnwick garden – jade & james

July 26th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (64)

The wonderful Alnwick Garden in Northumberland provides the stunning, contemporary backdrop to today’s nuptials between Jade and James, who tied the knot in May of this year. Describing their venue as both impressive and beautiful – we think you’ll agree when you see the fabulous photos from their big day!

Going for a rustic and natural theme to tie in with this exquisite setting, the couple chose a dreamy pink, cream and white colour scheme, which complemented the surroundings beautifully. Throw in a dash of sunshine and you’ve got the perfect mix for those natural, outdoorsy feels. There are plenty of other Insta-worthy touches to look out for throughout the day too; from the candy floss stand and handmade table decorations, to the three-tier semi-naked wedding cake, which looks simply divine.

This is something of a blueprint for a wedding that’s a little bit different to your traditional barns and castles and we think you’re going to love the result! So, let’s pass the blog onto Jade to talk us through the finer details.

With images by Rachael Fraser Photography, and second shooter Rosie Davison Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (25)

jade says: We got engaged on 27th November 2016. James is quite into his photography and had told me he had arranged access to the roof terrace of The Vermont Hotel to take photos of Newcastle. We turned up at The Vermont and were taken upstairs and left on the terrace alone. I noticed music was playing in the background but didn’t take any notice as James was taking photos, our song came on (Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud) which I thought was a bit strange. James then asked me to look at the Tyne Bridge; his family were holding a banner over the bridge asking me to marry him! He got down on one knee and popped the question, to which I said yes of course! Afterwards we had some champagne and pictures taken. When we went downstairs and into the lounge, I was then surprised by my parents, who had travelled up from Sheffield without me knowing! We all went for lunch together and had some celebratory drinks!

We tied the knot on 27th May 2018. We chose that date as it is close to the start of summer and has a good chance of being good weather but not too hot. It was also a bank holiday the day after, so it made it easier for people travelling a long way.

A Pretty Wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (3)

We had the ceremony and reception at The Alnwick Garden. We had looked at a few different venues which we liked but when we saw the gardens we fell in love with how beautiful it was. On a sunny day, which we fortunately had for our wedding, I think you would struggle to find a more impressive and beautiful venue!

A Pretty Wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (32)

We had a fairly rustic and natural theme for our wedding. We thought this suited the venue and tied in with the natural elements of the garden.

The colour scheme was light pinks, cream and white which suited the natural and rustic style we had chosen. It also suited the bridesmaids’ dresses.

A Pretty Wedding at The Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (76)

My dress was Martina Liana, design 744 – an embroidered lace gown embellished with diamonds and pearls, a backless mermaid style with a long train. The dress was from Mia Sposa, who made my experience very special and Joy was amazing in helping me find the dress. As a special touch to my attire, James surprised me on the morning of the wedding with earrings made out of diamonds from his mother’s original engagement ring, which was very thoughtful.

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dream venue: matfen hall, northumberland

January 19th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Matfen Hall (7)

And just when you thought we couldn’t provide you with anymore inspiration for your big day setting on the blog this week, we come along with another dreamy venue for you to consider.

This time it’s one for all the North East brides-to-be out there, as we’re sharing details of our Sponsor venue, Matfen Hall, which has a lot to shout about in 2018.

Having undergone a first-class refurbishment during the winter months, the team at this award-winning Northumbrian venue are set to reveal the spectacular results of the transformation during a Luxury Wedding Show with none other than Brides Up North and, luxury bridal magazine for the north, UNVEILED.

And the best bit? You’re all invited and it’s FREE ENTRY! So, be sure to block out 11am to 2pm on Sunday 4th March when we’ll be opening the Hall’s doors so you can view this stunning venue, while meeting its super team and a special collection of suppliers from the surrounding area.

In order to give you a glimpse of what’s to come and build the suspense further, we’re getting all the details from the Matfen team on what makes the Hall such a stunning venue, and hearing how the refurb will boost its glowing reputation even further…

Matfen Hall (14)

Where is Matfen Hall located? 

matfen hall say: Set in 300 acres of beautiful Northumbrian countryside, Matfen Hall is located in a picturesque village only 17 miles from Newcastle city centre. The stunning Northumberland countryside Matfen Hall is set within offers so many options for your wedding imagery – from stunning golden corn fields to manicured gardens to wild woodland. The benefit of such dramatic interiors mean that even if the weather is not with you on your big day, your opportunity for photographs with amazing backdrops is still available!

Matfen Hall (18)

Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

Matfen Hall and its surrounding estate has been in the Blackett family for more than 250 years.  The Hall was built on the site of an earlier Jacobean house in 1832 by Sir Edward Blackett, the 6th Baronet. Following a massive programme of work to the fabric of the building Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett opened the doors as in 1999. We have so many original features in the Hall, including a fireplace in our Terrace Room that was originally intended for Buckingham Palace.

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Matfen Hall is a unique and historic venue set in stunning Northumberland surroundings; it boasts a luxurious and traditional atmosphere for a wedding. We offer exclusivity of the East Wing, so that our couples can relax in the knowledge that they will be the only wedding taking place that day and have the utmost dedicated team to take care of them with more than 35 years’ experience between us!

Matfen Hall (35)

Matfen Hall is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment that will transform several of its main reception rooms for weddings. Please can you tell us more about this?

We are delighted with the refurbishment work to the Hall’s East Wing, which has been underway for several months, and that will be completed by the end of February. This investment will transform the Great Hall, Terrace Room and Sir Edwards Bar. We are working with the talented interior designers Space ID, who are Newcastle based, though they have completed some incredible projects across the UK.

Entering the theatrical space that is the Great Hall, eyes will be drawn to the spectacular original oak ceiling, sensitively highlighted with led lights and suspended contemporary orbs of light creating a virtual firework display overhead. A dance of coloured light will spill over the bespoke gold ring seats from the original rose window, across the sweeping oak staircase with teal carpet runner, and will reflect in the antique mirror arches.

Leading from the Great Hall to the left, guests will be entertained within the sumptuous cocktail lounge with crystal lights, enveloping wingback chairs and relaxing music. Sir Edward’s Bar provides a relaxing space, with textured wall finishes, in rich blues and greens accented with artisan brass metalwork on the bar counter.

Leaving Sir Edward’s Bar, guests will be guided to the pièce de résistance, The Terrace Room. The original Jacobean windows with centuries old timber panelling frame the spectacular backdrop of Matfen Hall gardens and golf course. The high ceilings adorned with decorative plasterwork, sympathetically picked out in muted colours to match the panelled walls inset with crystal cut antique mirror panels.

We are really looking forward to revealing the East Wing once the work is complete and can’t wait to host many weddings in the new space.

Matfen Hall (16)

Can you tell us how couples can use the various areas of Matfen Hall on their wedding day?

The Great Hall is the ultimate setting for the most romantic and intimate part of your day, make your entrance down the magnificent Great Hall staircase before taking your vows in front of the large feature fireplace. This room can cater for up to 120 guests for a seated ceremony.

We also have our Dutch garden and cloister courtyard, for a more unique outdoor ceremony! Our private south facing Dutch Garden also makes a beautiful area for a cocktail drinks reception, then venture off into the surrounding woodland and estate, or, on a winter’s day, take your drinks reception in front of the roaring log burning fire in the Great Hall.

For those who would like a church ceremony, our neighbouring village only a short walk away from the East Wing hosts the cosy Holy Trinity Church, originally built by our current owner’s great-grandfather, Sir Edward Blackett, the 6th Baronet who also built Matfen Hall.

The choice of rooms for your wedding breakfast makes Matfen a truly special venue, the high ceilings and garden views out of the bay windows are just breath-taking.

Your evening celebration takes you to the Vault Bar and Cloister, historically the cellars of the original stately home. The décor creates a stylish and unique space for you and your guests to dance the night away! The Cloister courtyard can be used throughout various parts of your wedding day – the magical festoon lit area is perfect for outdoor ceremonies, alfresco dining or your sparkler send off at midnight!

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blissed out bride: matfen hall

November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (2)

We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!

Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.

All images by Sean Elliott Photography.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (6)

Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.

Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (8)

But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (13)

We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.

There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.

Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (10)

Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).

Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.

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dream venue: newton hall

July 3rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Timeless Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Melissa Beattie Photography

If you’ve been tirelessly scouring the internet for a dreamy wedding venue with unspoilt surroundings, stunning function rooms and luxurious accommodation, then we might just have brought your search to a holt! As this afternoon, we’re introducing a breath-takingly beautiful new Sponsor venue to Brides Up North, that’s enough to send most brides weak at the knees.

Situated on the gorgeous Northumberland Coastline, Newton Hall offers a tranquil coastal and countryside setting that can lend itself to a whole host of themes and can cater to a wide range of budgets, making it both an impressive and accessible venue.

Owned by North East leisure operator Apartment Group, who also own popular venues As You Like It and Le Petit Chateau, the team are experts in individual weddings that are truly memorable and offer outstanding service and impeccable style as standard. So, let’s now hand over to those behind the venue to explain more about its fabulous wedding offering…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Melissa Beattie.

A-Timeless-Wedding-at-Newton-Hall-c-Melissa-Beattie-Photography-34

Where is Newton Hall located?

newton hall say: The venue is situated in Newton-by-the-Sea, on the beautiful Northumberland Coast – an area of outstanding beauty, which is approximately an hour from Newcastle.

Tell us a little about the history of the venue…

Newton Hall is a quirky, 18th Century Georgian Mansion at the heart of one of England’s greatest stretches of natural coastline. Today it’s a coastal and countryside luxury hotel specialising in unique indoor and outdoor weddings, and provides spectacular backdrops for those all-important big day pictures.

A-Timeless-Wedding-at-Newton-Hall-c-Melissa-Beattie-Photography-44

What facilities does it have? 

The venue boasts a range of unique event spaces, including the Old Hall, Glass House and Garden Suite, as well as the Joiners Arms, our village pub and inn that’s just a few minutes’ walk away. The boutique hotel also provides 5-star accommodation through its 21 individually designed bedrooms and suites themed with four poster beds, private roof terraces, roll top baths and gardens. The Joiners Arms also has an additional five suites that are available to wedding guests.

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contemporary class. a styled bridal shoot at brinkburn northumberland

March 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (61)

Today on the blog we have a styled shoot that focuses on the venue and decor aspects of a wedding – and features not one, but two of our fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors.

Captured by the talented Melissa Beattie Photography at dream wedding venue Brinkburn Northumberland, this shoot aims to show how old can be mixed with new to create a stylish and unforgettable setting for those all-important “I dos” and big day celebrations.

Located on the banks of the river Coquet, Brinkburn provides a relaxed and informal backdrop for couples looking for an unusual historic and quirky venue. Offering use of its stunning White Room, Tipis and the 12th Century Priory Church for the ceremony and reception, alongside its comfortable accommodation in The Stables, Priory Cottage and Bel House, the venue has everything a wedding party could desire all in one place.

Here to show us more of this gorgeous venue whilst talking us through the details of the shoot, is Brinkburn’s wedding coordinator Jan-Marie…

With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (65)

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (2)

jan-marie says: In doing this shoot we wanted to capture, the natural vibe of Brinkburn, taking inspiration from our mantra, “The Hills, The River, The Woods, The Quiet, Ssshhhh”.

The idea was to show the juxtaposition of contemporary design amongst the historic buildings and natural surroundings.

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (37)

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (7)

In terms of styling and colour we took our inspiration from the natural palette of Brinkburn. Christine of Lavenders Blue really does know Brinkburn inside and out so her brief was short and sweet. Fabulous greens from the lush and relaxed foliage set against the natural sandstone of the walls and the canvass of the tipi. Almost as if the viewer had stepped into their own decadent secret garden.

Christine foraged for foliage with stronger hues of green, fresh fern, ivy and rhododendron leaf in the woodland at Brinkburn and paired this with eucalyptus, olive leaf, rosemary and bay leaf for the tablespaces. The tipi poles were adorned with a cascading soft ruscus.

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (54)

The simple brass belted glass vases we used are from a collection at Tutti & Co, along with all of the table accessories from their wedding table styling range.

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believe the hype: brides up north visits le petit chateau

August 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Le Petit Chateau (c) Scott Spock

Image by Scott Spock, all others by Sean Elliott

There are wedding venues with the wow-factor and then there’s the likes of Le Petit Chateau, a brand new venue to the North East, which pushes the jaw-dropping bar even higher.

When we first learned that the award-winning Apartment Group were working on a new wedding venture following the success of their other venues, including the gorgeous Newton Hall, we were told to expect something luxurious and different – and that’s exactly what they’ve delivered.

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (8)

Situated within beautiful countryside in Otterburn, Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau started life in the form of a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel, but it has now been transformed into a first class wedding venue, complete with spectacular function rooms, boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens.

As we heard more about the venue during its development stages the excitement grew, we were intrigued by its South of France influences and talk of a breath-taking ceremony room, and then as images of the venue started to emerge, we became desperate to see for ourselves if Le Petit Chateau lived up to the hype.

Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as the wonderful Apartment Group team invited us for an overnight stay at Le Petit Chateau, not long after opening its doors. As Julia had not long welcomed her beautiful second daughter Lili, I took one for the team (it’s a hard life) and snapped up the invitation, taking my mum along with me for a girly weekend away (much to my boyfriend’s disappointment).

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (1)

On the weekend that we visited the venue was hosting no less than three weddings, one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which proves its instant popularity. As an exclusive use venue Le Petit Chateau only ever hold one wedding per day and the building has been cleverly designed so that brides, grooms and guests don’t clash with previous wedding parties, or members of the public.

Upon arrival we enjoyed a drink in the William de Percy, Coaching Inn and Creperie, which sits on the site of the old Percy Arms. Its warm atmosphere and chic rustic décor give us a slight taste of what’s to come. It’s not long before we are shown to our room and the real opulence and extravagance of Le Petit Chateau is revealed. Passing through reception we climb to our first floor twin room, which causes us to gasp as we enter. Looking like a bedroom that one would expect to find in a luxurious French manor, the décor and furnishings were nothing short of stunning. Known for their incredible attention to detail the Apartment Group have thought of everything to make guests’ stay both a unique and unforgettable, with each of the 29 bedrooms individually designed for to create that certain je ne sais quois.

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (4)

After the incredible detail, the next thing to hit you about Le Petit Chateau is the hospitality. All the staff are friendly and attentive, creating a warm and enjoyable atmosphere which encourages people to instantly relax and have fun. During our visit we were incredibly well looked after by the General Manager Dale, while the wonderful Master of Ceremonies Tim took time out to give us a tour of the function side and the venue and head of housekeeping was proud to show off the rooms that she and her team lovingly look after. Beyond that, all the bar, waiter and events staff also go about their work in a happy and enthusiastic manner, which all in all says to me that couples marrying at the venue would be incredibly well looked after!

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