Charlotte Balbier

new venue alert: charlton hall

September 22nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Charlton Hall (8)

If you’re in search of a brand-new venue that’s as cool as it is unique, then you just might be about to love us forever. As this afternoon, we have details of an a-maz-ing (!!) North East venue, set to open its doors to couples in April 2018, offering stylish celebrations like no other!

Set on a 150-acre estate in the heart of Northumberland coastal countryside, Charlton Hall is currently undergoing a huge renovation that will see elements of its heritage mixed with quirky and contemporary touches, resulting in a grand entertaining space made up of show-stopping function rooms, fabulous entertaining areas and incredible bedrooms.

Brought to you by the same people as those behind popular venue Doxford Barns, couples marrying at Charlton can be sure of first-class service, food and drink as standard.

Keen to remain up-to-the-minute with its progress, we’ve invited the team from Charlton Hall to take over the blog with the latest details of seriously stylish venue…

Charlton Hall (4)

Where is Charlton Hall located?

charlton hall say: Charlton Hall is based just off the A1 at Chathill, eight miles north of Alnwick and is set within a private 150-acre estate overlooking the coast towards Beadnell Bay.

Can you tell us about its history?

Charlton Hall is a Grade II listed Georgian hall by William Newton and formerly the family home of the late Reginald William Tudor Thorp, MBE of Alnwick – Alnwick’s oldest solicitor before he died in 2003.

Charlton Hall was acquired by Richard Shell in May 2017 and included in the sale were many original artefacts from the Hall, including auction notices from 1878, newspaper articles from 1935 and turn of the century antiques (desks, grandfather clocks, chairs) as well as other delightful memoirs, including a school sports trophy dating back to 1890!

We intend to incorporate as many of these artefacts into our upgrade of Charlton Hall to mix tradition with modern twists and eccentric interior design.

Charlton Hall (15)

What is the building currently like and how will it be transformed?

The building itself is currently under renovation as we upgrade the Hall whilst preserving its heritage and original Georgian features. To balance tradition with modernity, our lead designer Josephine Aynsley is introducing an eclectic mix of bold furniture, fabrics, tapestries and accessories to add even more character to the venue.

The renovation plans include enchanting function and entertaining rooms, a large formal drawing room with marble fireplace and dining room with floor-to-ceiling sash windows that look out towards the coast; our vision here is intended to make the venue ideal for intimate wedding breakfasts.

On the lower ground floor, Charlton Hall has a rare and unique assortment of intimate underground lounges and our plans here are to use the space for a dedicated whisky bar with booths for the after-party.

The menagerie of furniture included with the sale of Charlton Hall has heavily influenced our design team’s interior scheme, by re-claiming many of those pieces to create an authentic yet eclectic interior. Mixed with re-production pieces, the finished look aims to excite and inspire with our indulgent, luxurious and downright decadent taste!

Charlton Hall (10)

What type of feel will Charlton Hall have and what will its interior styling be like?

At every turn, the unique vision of Charlton Hall is a masterclass in interior design. The decor is adorned with soft furnishings, fabrics and accessories that are intriguingly mismatched, along with vibrant-coloured walls, antique pieces, playful artefacts, a mix of art and decorative lighting fixtures and yesteryear pictures that offer anatomical insights.

As you enter the grounds of Charlton Hall, its long private driveway is enshrouded by luscious English orchards and secret walled gardens to reveal the traditional exterior of Charlton Hall’s Georgian building. Inside, guests are greeted and led to the vibrant inner sanctum of either the drawing room or library, constructed around the central staircase.

Once inside, be prepared for bold interiors, decadent features and daring design as Charlton Hall’s tongue-in-cheek personality takes over with is provocative interiors and flamboyant colour scheme, heavily influenced by creatives – Tim Walker, Tom Dixon, Andrew Martin, Matthew Williamson, House of Hackney and Emma Shipley.

Light installations will cover the hallway including Tom Dixon Pendants, neon signs and flying cherubs levitating down the grand staircase to the hallway. Wallpapers by Pierre Frey and Harlequin feature prominently here.

The Breakfast Room takes inspiration from photographer Tim Walker with its accumulation of shadows and detail. Here the design team brings Harlequin Sumi wallpaper to life by cascading from the ceiling and down to the base of the original hand-painted floor boards. Andrew Martin’s sheers drape the windows to drench the room with sunlight that reflects off the opposing wall of mirrors.

The Library shies away from the “standard” library look by following the Hall’s level of opulence with bespoke accessories, large-scale chandeliers and bright colours. Our love for House of Hackney starts in the Study and climbs the staircase through fabrics, wallpapers and accessories. Having followed the inspirational artist Emma J Shipley for a number of years, we have also included many of her exquisite cushion designs throughout Charlton Hall to complement Josephine Aynsley’s bespoke cushions to suit each room.

At some point throughout your jaunt of the Hall, you will visit our toilets. Eyebrow-raising urinals combined with bespoke designed graffiti from our amazing artist Lynsey Jean Henderson juxtapose with the Pink Powder room for Foxy Ladies.

Throughout Charlton Hall our bespoke crafted bars will be backlit with changeable coloured LEDs and Tom Dixon fade pendants featuring prominently in our function and designated bar rooms.

Taking our handmade and specially hand dyed grand staircase runner upstairs, guests can indulge in the decadence of oversized mirrors that reflect our shimmering chandeliers, sit delicately on our leather conversation sofas in a little hideaway decorated with House of Hackney’s naughty monkey wallpaper, complete with specially designed rugs.

Delving downstairs into our underground vaults, you will find Charlton Hall’s after-hours playground of debauchery, cigars, drinking and where cards are dealt. Our in-house speakeasy plays host to this whisky and card room or if you fancy a dance, you’ll have to mind your head in our den that even Gatsby couldn’t imagine. Rich with silks, velvets, leather and laced with a decadent choice of beverages – who wouldn’t want to finish the night in such style?

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midsummer magic: a wild woodland-styled shoot at alnwick garden

July 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (6)

If you’re planning a wedding with any kind of wild woodland element – natural flowers, untamed hair or foliage and greenery, for instance –  then this stunning styled shoot at Alnwick’s Treehouse Restaurant, part of the Alnwick Garden, will be inspo overload.

Talented photographer Rachael Fraser brought together a group of innovative suppliers to display the very best of the North East, including the beautiful surroundings of her hometown, Alnwick. We adore the use of warm coppery metallics, which sit perfectly against the lush greenery of the gardens and create a super-gorgeous, slightly frenzied Midsummer Madness-feel. Even the cake is on the wild side, with a delicate floral design that’s (almost) too good to eat.

If you want to see more from Rachael, head over to her newly-updated website for more details or get yourself to the Brides Up North Big Bridal Super Show at Ramside Hall on Sunday 24th September, where she’ll be exhibiting along with a whole host of other luxury bridal suppliers.

So, it’s over to Rachael to tell us more about the inspiration behind the shoot and her feelings about the results…

With images by Rachael Fraser Photography. Model Melissa Steven at Tyne Tees Models.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (24)

rachael says: My reasons for doing the shoot was that I really wanted to bring together local suppliers in a collaborative way to showcase some of the beautiful work that I’d seen at wedding fairs and on their individual websites. I wanted to create an inspirational shoot that was quite light and natural with blush, grey and cream tones – all super-popular at the moment. And, of course, the vibrant lush greens of the surrounding area!

The Treehouse Restaurant is part of the Duchess of Northumberland’s stunning Alnwick Gardens, in the town where I grew up and where I still live today. It’s a completely unique venue which, with the surrounding woodland, offered a variety of creative opportunities in terms of settings for the shoot. We started on the rope bridges and then made our way down onto the woodland walk where wild garlic and flowers bloom on either side of the path.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (29)

The Wedding Dress Company provided the gorgeous dress by Maggie Sottero, which was a beautiful blush dress with a sheer lace overlay. I’d seen the gown on display at Brides Up North’s Luxury Wedding Fair at the Alnwick Gardens and knew it would look perfect in the pictures.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (19)

Hair and makeup was styled by Tina Elliot who created a beautiful natural look with some simple foliage in the hair to keep in with the wild, whimsical feel.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (23)

The Finishing Touch Company provided a stunning bouquet with white and cream flowers and trailing grey ribbons. For the table settings, they also created a stunning display with a floral garland on the table and copper details which worked perfectly alongside Amanda Michelle’s copper and pastel scripted stationery and table plan.

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tweed & tea dresses. relaxed rustic romance for a wedding at healey barn – fern & andrew

July 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (22)

Fern and Andrew’s glorious barn wedding in the Northumberland countryside has us reaching for our sunnies – and maybe a glass (or two) of Pimm’s.

Healey Barn is an incredible backdrop to this couple’s laidback rustic day, with its vaulted ceilings and exposed stone decked out in fairy lights and flowers. Think ‘country chic’ and you’ve got it: tweed jackets, bunting, flower petal confetti and photographs featuring woodland walks and hay bales. Gotta love a hay bale!

With photography by Chocolate Chip Photography.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (12)

fern says: I managed to ruin the first proposal attempt by Andrew – he had put the engagement ring on our cat’s collar thinking when the cat jumped up on me I’d see it. Needless to say I didn’t, and let the cat outside with the engagement ring around her neck. I didn’t know anything about this until the second proposal!

Jump forward to the evening of 1st January 2012, when Andrew thought it’d be easier (and less likely to give him a heart attack) if he just came downstairs and got down on one knee.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (21)

We got married on 29th July 2016. We thought it would be best to get married on a Friday as a few of our guests needed to travel down from Scotland and up from Milton Keynes and we figured they’d have a longer weekend if they didn’t have to travel home the day after the wedding.

Our venue was Healey Barn, Riding Mill, Northumberland. We chose it quite simply because we thought it was absolutely stunning. We also felt it would be great to have a barn wedding and it fitted our style quite well – very ‘relaxed rustic’.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (26)

Theme-wise, we just wanted a relaxed atmosphere. This was the main drive behind everything, including the choice of our two major suppliers – the venue, Healey Barn, and our photographers, Chocolate Chip Photography. We felt they could both offer the stress-free approach we love.

Our colour scheme was green and purple: it’s all about me! They’re my favourite colours.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (36)

I purchased my dress from I Do Bridal in Bill Quay, Gateshead. I couldn’t rate them highly enough: the staff were amazing and the alternations service was superb. It was a tea-length dress; I loved the style plus I’m super-clumsy, so no long flowing dresses. My wonderful shoes were from Ruby Shoo.

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real wedding recap 2017: a french inspired wedding at le petit chateau, northumberland – rachelle & liam

July 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott Photography (55)

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.

From the venue’s name, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an overseas wedding, but in fact the stunning French inspired venue can be found in rural Northumberland.

Cheerleaders Rachelle and Liam fell whole-heartedly in love with its unique styling and charm, planning a big day with French shabby chic touches to complement their surroundings.

So, let’s get straight into the pretty. Ready? Ok!

With images by Sean Elliott Photography

A Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott Photography (51)

rachelle says: We got engaged in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2013, while we attended the seventh World Cheerleading Championships, in which we both were competing together as part of Team UK.

We set the date for 30th July 2016 – the beginning of the school holidays as Liam is a teacher and we wanted to make sure we had time to fit in a good honeymoon before he went back to work.

A Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott Photography (58)

Our ceremony took place at St. Peters Church, Harton, South Shields at 12pm as it had sentimental value to Liam. We then held our reception in Le Petit Chateau, Otterburn. We originally booked a different reception venue when we first got engaged but when we discovered the plans for Le Petit Chateau, we fell in love and decided to lose our previous deposits and change to Le Petit Chateau, despite never actually seeing the venue until a month before our wedding. After seeing the venue, it looked a million times better than what we’d expected from the plans and knew we had made the right decision to change our wedding

We didn’t have a theme as such but it was almost aimed towards French shabby chic. We incorporated old books and watering cans into our centrepieces. Our table plan was a mannequin with French inspired shabby chic labels pinned to it containing the table plan to incorporate the French fashion scene. We added a cheerleading bow to this as that was how we met and how we’d got engaged. We picked our favourite looks from Pinterest and the shabby chic appealed to us the most. When we found our new venue, we tailored it more to suit the style and it worked perfectly.

We chose a coral colour scheme, as it was a very summery colour that we thought would brighten the photos. When we first saw the venue, we were excited to see that the same colour was used on the external walls of the Belle Epoque!

A Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott Photography (56)

I chose my dress – an ivory Mori Lee gown – from The Bridal Factory Outlet, and had a wonderful shopping experience there. My dress was a full A-line dress with a slight sweetheart neckline. The bodice was covered in a heavy lace with pearls and crystals. It had a lovely crystal belt that tied into a lovely flowing tulle bow at the back. The skirt kicked out at the waist into layers of tulle. I picked the dress to show off my waist and as a cheerleader, I wanted sparkle but I didn’t want to go too overboard.

I also picked a shorter knee length dress for the evening, which was a white Sherri Hill dress that had a bodice full of pearls and a full tulle skirt with lace detail at the bottom.

A Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott Photography (28)

Liam wore a grey three-piece suit from Slaters with a white shirt and black Ted Baker shoes also from Slaters, and a coral and ivory paisley silk tie and pocket square that I’d found on Pinterest and sourced from Amazon. They matched the colour scheme perfectly and were such much nicer than a block colour.

I won my bridesmaids dresses from Brides Dream in Newcastle, from a wedding show in 2014 and picked them from a wide range at their store in summer 2015. I picked a coral floor-length gown with an illusion sweetheart neckline. The top of the dress was a coral mesh with a lovely delicate lace detail on the shoulders. The dress also had an illusion low back, that accented my wedding dress.

I had a man of honour in my bridal party too, my best friend Ben Pardey, who helped my maid of honour, Olga Crehan. They were my two best friends from university and I couldn’t have got married without them both by my side with a main role in the wedding.

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real wedding recap summer 2017: a romantic wedding at newton hall – alan & catherine

June 23rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Romantic Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell (38)

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.

Today’s couple tied the knot at the beautiful Newton Hall in Northumberland, a Sponsor venue of ours that’s brimming with plenty of insta-worthy interior features and spaces – be prepared to swoon!

Sticking with an understated rustic look, Catherine and Alan opted for a subtle grey palette – a classy colour scheme that offers an alternative to popular sugary pastel tones.

There are lots of wonderful touches to pore over today, including vintage sweetie jars, handmade confetti cones and pretty slate hearts – and we were thoroughly impressed to hear that our bride even self-taught herself the art of chalkboard writing. Re-living their special day, Catherine talks us through the details…

With images by Danny Birrell Photography

A Romantic Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell (39)

catherine says: We got engaged during a last-minute break to the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. He had arranged for champagne in our room upon arrival and, after putting my bags down, when I turned around he was on one knee with the ring.

Our wedding took place on 26th February 2017. We chose this date because the venue, Newton Hall, was a little cheaper, as it was out of season. When we first walked around the venue, we were in awe. The whole place is beautiful and the décor is so different and quirky, it’s like no other place I’ve been. There were gorgeous wooden floors in the main reception room, the staff were lovely and helpful, and the amount of extras they could offer really impressed us.

A Romantic Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell (8)

We went for a laidback rustic style wedding with neutral colours and kept everything understated. We didn’t want everything too busy or over the top, as our personalities aren’t like that at all. There was, however, a tiny sprinkling of Harry Potter in there, too!

We had a grey colour scheme running throughout to tie everything together. It’s a lovely colour that complements most things without being an obvious colour scheme.

A Romantic Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell (18)

My dress was princess style and quite simple, totally different from what I imagined I would want. I bought my dress from Wed 2 Be. Although it was a cheaper ‘off the rack’ dress, the quality was amazing and it was very comfortable.

Alan wore a suit from Moss Bros. He chose the fabrics and linings, fit and style, and it was tailor made to fit. The groomsmen wore navy suits hired from Moss Bros, too.

Our bridesmaids wore gorgeous Little Mistress dresses from ASOS. They were a similar style to my dress and were flowing and very flattering.

A Romantic Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell (14)

We booked local photographer Danny Birrell to capture our day. He was very friendly and blended in to the background, so our guests were unaware they were being photographed most of the time. Our photos are amazing and he really captured the feel of the day.

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all natural. enzoani for a woodland wedding at healey barn – jamie & david

June 6th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Natural Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Camilla Lucinda Photography (33)

We do love a barn wedding here at Brides Up North, and Jamie and David’s gorgeous celebration at Healey Barn near Corbridge, Northumberland, is top of the (barn) pops.

This stylish couple are all about the natural; from the wisteria colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses to the hessian and lace details of their rustic theme, not to mention the intimate photographs taken under a fabulous woodland canopy.

But what we really love about this real wedding is how ‘natural’ is clearly far more than a one-day-only theme. From the silver Converse that Jamie slipped on under her Enzoani gown and the barbecue feast they opted for, it’s obvious that they wanted a laidback and honest feel to their ceremony and reception that really reflected them as a couple.

With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography.

A Natural Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Camilla Lucinda Photography (13)

jamie says: We got engaged on 20th April 2012, at Creswell Beach in Northumberland. We‘d been for a walk along the beach when David suddenly asked me to climb up the sand dunes. He got ahead of me and, when I eventually reached the top, he was already on one knee.

Our wedding date was 20th April 2017. We chose the date because it was the anniversary of our first date and, of course, our engagement date! Unsurprisingly, it had become quite a special date for us so we looked to get married then, too.

A Natural Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Camilla Lucinda Photography (9)

We had our ceremony and our reception at the gorgeous Healey Barn. When we first started looking at wedding venues we decided we wanted something different and that’s when we found Healey Barn online.

We didn’t really have a theme in mind when we were planning – we just saw little snippets of other people’s weddings on social media and fell in love with details such as hessian and lace bows for chairs and matching table runners. However, on the day everyone said they loved the vintage theme that had ended up running throughout.

Colour-wise, we decided we didn’t want anything too over the top so went for a rustic feel and quite natural, neutral shades in our colour scheme.

A Natural Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Camilla Lucinda Photography (29)

My dress was an Enzoani design from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. Over the past couple of years I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, so I wanted something that not only showed off my figure but something I also felt comfortable in. From the moment I tried it on, I fell in love – I knew it was the one the moment I saw my reflection in the boutique mirror.

David wore a racing green suit with a Jeff Banks shirt and tie. His shoes were RJR John Rocha, all from Debenhams. His best man wore the same.

My bridesmaids wore wisteria colour dresses from JJsHouse and silver Converse so that we all matched.

A Natural Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Camilla Lucinda Photography (36)

Our photographer on the day was Camilla Lucinda and we would definitely recommend her. We met with Camilla before the wedding and she was absolutely lovely. She put us at ease instantly, and gave us some ideas for our couple photos which echoed exactly what we’d said we wanted. We loved how she captured natural photos of everyone – we didn’t want to be posing for photos all day aside from a few family pictures.

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