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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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real wedding recap 2018: allure bridals for a pretty wedding at healey barn – kathryn & michael

June 3rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (51)

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 4th June 2018 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.

“Pick a seat, not a side; we’re all family when the knot is tied,” declared a sign at the marriage ceremony of today’s real wedding couple, Kathryn and Michael. It’s perhaps all the more poignant given the couple hail from opposite sides of the pond, with Michael coming from New York.

As a nod to their different heritages, the couple incorporated some special touches into their day, such as a sweetie table laden with British and American sweets for the guests, and traditional British lawn games set up outside, along with beer pong and corn hole. Not to mention the odd socks worn by the groom and groomsmen – one sporting a Union Jack and the other an American flag, of course!

With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (35)

kathryn says: We got engaged in October 2015. Michael is American and was living in New York at the time and I was over visiting on holiday. One evening after we had finished eating, Michael told me he had to show me something before we got back on the subway home. We then started walking up Fifth Avenue and Michael kept refusing to tell me what it was, even though I kept pestering him as I was tired and wanted to go home! We eventually got to Central Park, where Michael took me to the side of the lake with the New York skyline in the background and got down on one knee and popped the question! There was just the two of us in a serene Central Park and it was perfect.

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (23)

We got married on 3rd September 2016. We wanted to get married fairly quickly so Michael could move to the UK, as we had been living apart in separate countries for so long. Michael’s sister and cousins were also getting married over the summer, so we wanted to space the weddings out so everyone had their moment to shine.

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (48)

We had our ceremony at St John’s Methodist Church in Whitley Bay. This was my family and childhood church and also where my parents got married. We are good friends with Carla, the minister at the church, so it felt really special to be married by someone so close to our family.

We had our reception at Healey Barn – it’s such a beautiful and relaxed place. There’s nothing not to love! We would definitely recommend the venue – everything about the day was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and that was down to the slick operation that they run at Healey Barn. The barn is beautiful, the countryside surrounding the barn is breath-taking, and our guests couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the food was!

A Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Melissa Beattie (55)

The theme for the wedding was rustic. The barn itself was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of decorations, so I wanted everything to be homemade and to complement the rustic barn setting.

Our colour scheme was sage green and dusky pink. I always wanted quite a soft, romantic colour palette that complemented the natural colours of the countryside. We also used a lot of burlap and lace to complement the rustic barn theme.

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real wedding recap 2018: a country wedding at le petit chateau, otterburn – melanie & rory

June 2nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (36)

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 4th June 2018 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.

Bride and groom, Melanie and Rory, were one of the first couples to book their wedding at Le Petit Chateau – a truly gorgeous French-inspired country manor hotel in the heart of beautiful Northumberland; instantly falling in love with its summer holiday feels. After getting engaged in the Big Apple, it seemed only fitting that there would be a subtle nod to this special location; and this came in the form of their table names. Keeping things simple though, no other theme was needed. But this doesn’t mean the wedding was lacking in personality or special touches – far from it!

As well as writing their own vows, Rory’s mum aka ‘Crafty Crofty’ stepped in to create some truly wonderful favours, table centrepieces, invitations and decorations for the couple, re-imagining their ideas and bringing them to life. She even baked their elegant white cake. (We’re wondering if we can steal her away for our special occasions too?) We’ll let Melanie tell us more about this quirky DIY approach though – prepare to soak up those Mediterranean vibes!

With images by Kristos Kabiotis Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (31)

melanie says: We got engaged on 12th February 2015, in New York. We were in an extremely cold Central Park and Rory was attempting to get me to walk out onto one of the lakes, which had frozen over – I flat out refused as I was scared we’d both end up cracking it and falling through into the freezing water! Instead, we went to see the Alice in Wonderland statue and it was just along from here – on a bank called Cedar Hill – that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

I was completely taken by surprise and just to make the moment even more magical, it started to snow! He had managed to find possibly one of the few secluded spots in one of the busiest cities in the world where it felt like it was just the two of us. He later told me he wanted to propose on the frozen lake but I’d scuppered that plan!

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (11)

We always wanted a summer wedding as we love going on holiday and our venue – Le Petit Chateau – definitely provided that Mediterranean vibe. We were one of the first couples to book the venue on its first open day, so were lucky enough to have our pick of the dates available. We ended up choosing a date almost a year from the day we booked!

I’d been interested in the venue since The Apartment Group announced the plans to build a new venue in Otterburn, and we fell in love with Le Petit Chateau the moment we saw its Belle Époque on the open day. We loved the idea of being in one venue for the entire day, so we wouldn’t have to travel between the ceremony and reception.

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (37)

We had no specific theme for the day, but I loved the idea of naming the tables after places we’d visited on our trip to New York, where we got engaged. We used Central Park as the top table.

I knew I wanted to have a neutral/pastel colour scheme, which would contrast with the venue and its colourful gardens during the summer.

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (15)

I searched for hours online looking at different wedding dress designers and visited around seven bridal shops trying on almost every style of dress, but nothing was exactly what I wanted. I eventually went to Wed2B at Gateshead, after it was recommended by a colleague and tried on even more dresses…until I found the one! It had everything I had envisioned, and I knew straight away that this was what I wanted to walk down the aisle in.

Rory didn’t want to go for something conventional and had his heart set on a dark tweed suit. We heard about Master Debonair in Boldon from a friend, so Rory and his dad (who was also his best man) went to try on some suits, along with my dad. The guys in the shop were great and allowed Rory, and both dads to try on several suits whilst enjoying a couple of beers (I arrived after work and was delighted to find a glass of prosecco on arrival). Rory eventually decided on a dark blue slim cut suit – he looked very dapper! Rory also selected a skeleton pocket watch and a champagne coloured tie and pocket square.

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beautifully boho. relaxed fiesta feels for an italian inspired wedding at northside farm – adele & michele

April 3rd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Boho Wedding at Northside Farm (c) DPR Photography (37)

Chocolate hangover and intense back to work dread anyone? We hear you.

We know what you need: chilled festival vibes, rustic homespun details and bride on a zipwire! We’re picking up the blog after the Bank Holiday with a real wedding which ticks all the inspiration boxes.

Adele and Michele were married last summer at Northside Farm, Northumberland, home to a beautiful converted barn and some stunning rural views. The couple paid homage to Michele’s Italian heritage with live ‘pop-up’ accordion music sessions and a sumptuous menu featuring Parma ham, mozzarella and Prosecco (obvs). Food wasn’t the only priority, though – fun was also top of the agenda with an appearance from a magician, a table plan featuring cringeworthy snaps of guests and a photobooth guestbook.

Our favourite features, however, have to be Adele’s floaty boho-meets-Grecian-style lace dress, literally last-minute bouquet and showstopper of a flower crown, which result in a laidback earthy look with bags of originality. We likey – and we suspect you might, too!

With images by DPR Photography.

A Boho Wedding at Northside Farm (c) DPR Photography (6)

adele says: We got engaged on 13th May 2015, which was also our little boy’s first birthday. I was changing Enzo and discovered he was wearing a babygro saying “Daddy has something to ask you downstairs”. Even then I didn’t guess what was about to happen! When we came down, Michele was on one knee holding my ring with candles and rose petals on the floor. I had to walk back out the door and back in again, so he could actually ask the question because he was crying so much!

Our wedding date was Saturday 15th July 2017. We knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday in the summer, so we went ahead and booked the wedding – and found out afterwards that I was pregnant and my due date was 15th July 2016! Our little girl Alba arrived five days early but in the run-up we thought we might end up preparing for a wedding and a first birthday!

A Boho Wedding at Northside Farm (c) DPR Photography (21)

We got married at Northside Farm, Northumberland. We visited the barn when it was only a lot of bricks and a shell. We sat down with Ralph and Olivia and looked over their vision and instantly fell in love with the place. I always wanted a barn wedding and this place was a hidden gem. Ralph and Olivia tested it out themselves by getting married there first.

We had exclusive use of the venue and the wigwams for the whole weekend. Michele and his groomsmen stayed in the wigwams on the Friday and had a takeaway and drinks. We then had a barbecue on the Sunday after the wedding, which was so chilled. We absolutely loved the fact that we turned our celebrations into a weekend party rather than just one day.

A Boho Wedding at Northside Farm (c) DPR Photography (38)

Michele’s family are Italian so we wanted to add our own little Italian touches; not in-your-face-Italian but more of a subtle nod to his ancestry. We also wanted everyone to feel relaxed and enjoy themselves. Our guests were able to camp on site so we ended up with tents, campervans and teepees everywhere – exactly the vibe we wanted!

We didn’t have a colour scheme but we kept everything very rustic, using wildflowers and a lot of personal handmade touches throughout the venue. The venue décor was already very much to my taste so not a lot needed doing.

A Boho Wedding at Northside Farm (c) DPR Photography (35)

Dress-wise, I tried on a few different styles, but I just couldn’t find ‘the one’. However, I eventually came across Bex and her amazing shop Bexbrides, and I’m so glad I did. I knew I’d find my dress as soon as I walked in! I ended up going with Bex’s own design, which was an amazing white lace dress and we worked together on adding my own touches including a very long train. I was over the moon with the finished dress knowing it was completely bespoke and unique to me.

On the wedding day, a local makeup artist called Carla Donnan MUA did mine and my bridesmaids’ makeup; she arrived bright and early and fitted in effortlessly.

Tiffany V Hair did the bridesmaids’ hair and my older sister/bridesmaid created my wavy do. I didn’t want anything out of the ordinary and wanted my headpiece to take the attention instead.

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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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princess perfect. ronald joyce for a blush pink wedding at matfen hall – rebecca & robert

October 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Romantic Wedding at Matfen Hall (c) David Lawson Photography (20)

We’re rather excited about today’s real wedding as it takes place at a venue where we will be hosting a very special Luxury Wedding Fair alongside UNVEILED magazine, to reveal the results of an impressive refurbishment.

Already a gorgeous Northumberland venue, the developments will see Matfen Hall taken from stunning to super-stunning. But we can’t tell all just yet, you will have to join us there on Sunday 4th March 2018, to see for yourselves.

This morning’s featured couple, Rebecca and Robert, are equally as passionate about the venue as us, and knew instantly it would be the perfect place to stage their big day. Plus, the hall formed the setting for Robert’s incredibly well-thought-out and crazily-romantic proposal too – seriously, full fiancée marks!

There are many beautiful elements to this classic big day, including super-pretty blooms, décor and cake, plus a Ronald Joyce gown fit for a princess!

With images by David Lawson Photography.

A Romantic Wedding at Matfen Hall (c) David Lawson Photography (4)

rebecca says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015. I used to be in a choir when I was in middle school and always said to Robert I would love to see a carol service on Christmas Eve. As I went to settle in for the night Robert said there was a carol service at Matfen Hall and we should go and see it.

The Great Hall that we were shown through to had a huge magical Christmas tree, a choir and chairs set up for the carol service but every chair in the audience was empty. As we took our seats I whispered to Robert that we must have got the wrong time.

No sooner had we sat down, the choir started singing. After three carols Robert stood up and took my hand (I was rather confused) he stood me next to the Christmas tree and handed me an envelope, inside was a card listing all the reasons he loved me (not expected from a rugby-playing farmer). Once I looked up from reading his beautiful words he was down on one knee. I don’t even think I gave him a chance to ask me ‘the’ question – I threw my arms around him and said “yes”, crying my eyes out!

A Romantic Wedding at Matfen Hall (c) David Lawson Photography (31)

Our wedding date was Friday the 14th July. We always wanted to get married at Corbridge St Andrew’s Church, this is our local village and the church just sits so idyllically in the market place.

We held our wedding reception at Matfen Hall (it is our favourite place and having got engaged there made it all the more fitting!) We had our wedding breakfast within the Great Hall, which is slightly different as normally the wedding breakfast is in the Terrace Room. We just felt the Great Hall is amazing and really wanted to make the most of such an amazing space. It is so dramatic when you walk through the entrance doors and see the huge fireplace and stained-glass window!

A Romantic Wedding at Matfen Hall (c) David Lawson Photography (9)

We wanted to keep the wedding as classic as possible so in ten years’ time we can look back at photographs and it won’t have dated too much.

We kept the colour scheme very simple and had blush and creams throughout. We had gorgeous blush sequin table runners and chair sashes. And the most amazing flowers, which were the focal point of the day.

A Romantic Wedding at Matfen Hall (c) David Lawson Photography (48)

When it came to picking my dress, I had no idea what I wanted. I just took my mum with me as I wanted to keep my dress a surprise for everyone (even the bridesmaids!) I decided to go to A J Bridal in Newburn, they had come highly recommended.

The ladies at A J were so welcoming and asked me to look through the dresses and pick ones I liked the look of, I was instantly drawn to a princess style dress so picked that along with a few assorted styles. I tried on the first dress I had be drawn to and that was it – love at first sight! I proceeded to try on a couple of other gowns just to make sure I was making the right decision but I was certain the first dress was ‘the one’ I almost felt regal in it. I picked a Ronald Joyce dress, it doesn’t have a lot of bling just around the waist and had a full bottom with lace. Robert and I go to dinner dances and I get the chance to wear some lovely ball dresses and this was the sort of dress I would only get the chance to wear on my wedding day and it made me feel like a real-life princess.

The ladies at A J suggested trying it with a cathedral-length veil and a gorgeous diamanté head piece which sat slightly to the side. Once I had these on I fell in love again!

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