Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

weddings with feel good factor: totem tipi

February 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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With ever expanding location options for couples to tie the knot, we love to see brides and grooms taking their celebrations outdoors to make the most of the North’s stunning areas of natural beauty; from sweet coastline settings, to historic woodlands and beautiful open areas of rolling countryside.

Though enjoying some fully open-air elements, most brides and grooms still require a structure to provide shelter (and warmth!) for certain parts of the celebrations, such as the feasting and dancing. For us there’s nothing more stunning than a tipi tent to fulfil this need, and we just so happen to be talking to an expert in the field on the blog today, our wonderful Yorkshire-based Sponsor Totem Tipi.

Super-striking from the outside and wonderfully atmospheric within, Totem’s gorgeous and adaptable tipis provide a blank canvas for couples to make their own and can cater for any size wedding, during any season of the year.

Furthermore, those that choose Totem for their big day will have the added feel good factor that all proceeds for hire of their structures feedback into a local youth arts project, which helps at risk and vulnerable children and young people build confidence and self-esteem, whilst instilling positive attitudes.

The Totem team are here now to tell us more…

DIARY DATE: Totem Tipis will be showcasing their fabulous structures at Brides Up North’s epic festival style wedding fairs; WEDSTOCK’18 at Stockeld Park, Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Sunday 6th May, and WEDSTIVAL’18 at Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire, on Sunday 20th May 2018, both open 11am to 3pm, FREE ENTRY.

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What type of structures do you offer?

[jennaopne]totem tipi say: Our event tipis are Stratus 72 tipis, also known as a Kata tipi or Giant Hat. The stratus 72 is based on a traditional Scandinavian design. Due to their unique interlocking features, the kata tipis make stunning intimate venues for a small wedding party, or can be joined together to create bigger structures to cater for the largest of wedding parties.

Can they be hired for weddings all-year-round?

The structures are built to withstand harsh weathers. With strong sustainable timbers and waterproof fabrics, we can cater for all events in all seasons. So, whether you want to create a summer celebration with the sides up, or you fancy a winter wonderland with an open fire pit, indoor heaters and warm blankets, then the tents can accommodate all ideas, seasons and tastes!

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What kind of numbers can the tipis hold and how are they laid out?

The tipis can be set out however you like! Whether you want a dance floor and bar area or want the whole space for seating. It’s really up to you. We can work together to design a plan that best suits you and your guests. As a basic guide we recommend the following maximum numbers per tent:

1 x Stratus tipi   – can seat up to 64 guests

2 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 120 guests

3 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 160 guests

4 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 200 guests

What would you say are the main plus points of an outdoor tipi wedding?

There are so many advantages to having an outdoor wedding, there are masses of choices of stunning locations, you can bring the outside in on a lovely summer’s day, and the events are always different. But I think the greatest is the freedom that you get to plan and design your wedding to be exactly how you want it to be. You literally get a blank canvas to stamp your personalities onto!

How can you help couples to enhance the tipis with furniture/decorations/expansions?

At Totem we allocate a member of staff to look after your wedding from start to finish. Your Totem contact will come out and view your location, talk you though the best options for your event and discuss all of our added extras, from chill-out furniture to extra lighting and additional tents!

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real wedding recap 2017: a luxe woodland wedding in west yorkshire – rosie & ben

December 29th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Glam Woodland Wedding (c) A Little Picture (27)

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 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

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.

If your morning caffeine hit hasn’t managed to fully wake you up, we’re pretty sure this stunning real wedding will open your eyes – and possibly cause them to pop out of your head – as this is an outdoor celebration with a difference! We’re talking chandeliers, sofas, mirrors and all kinds of opulent details that you wouldn’t expect in this woodland setting.

Opting for Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings on the outskirts of Leeds, this backdrop was everything they could wish for, giving them free rein over the décor, entertainment and catering for their special day. The transparent marquee offering stunning views of the tree canopies above sounds positively dreamy, and as for the cocktail shack – this is the kind of bar we’d just love to stumble upon in the forest!

Here, Rosie tells us more about how they brought their original and boldly imaginative theme – The Ritz in the Woodland – to life…

With images by A Little Picture.

A Glam Woodland Wedding (c) A Little Picture (16)

rosie says: We got engaged on 10th of December 2015, in Lake Bled, Slovenia. Every year we go away for a short break during the festive period and we had decided on Lake Bled for its fairytale, picturesque landscape. On our first day, whilst we were walking round the lake, I stopped to take a photo to send to friends, when I turned around Ben was on one knee! We continued the walk together knowing it was only the two of us who knew, and stopped for lunch and champagne to celebrate!

A Glam Woodland Wedding (c) A Little Picture (25)

We got married on 19th August 2017. We didn’t choose the date for any particular reason. We knew we didn’t want a traditional reception venue, such as a manor house, and I came across Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings. They had only done one wedding before and we knew we could make it our own. They had two dates left for 2017 – so the 19th August it was!

We held our service at St Mary’s Church, Mirfield, which is our local church and happens to be stunning, and then the reception at Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings on the outskirts of Leeds. We knew we wanted a traditional church service and a different reception venue. We have been to a lot of weddings and though each was beautiful, we wanted something different. At Applewood you can do whatever you want (within reason), so we could pick the decoration, food, music, drinks, entertainment, cake – everything!

A Glam Woodland Wedding (c) A Little Picture (40)

The theme for our wedding was ‘The Ritz in the Woodland’. We wanted to create a complete juxtaposition between what people would traditionally expect of a woodland wedding (bunting, wellies, burlap, hay bales) and instead create drama with chandeliers in the trees, plush sofas, mirrors, texture, all white flowers and minimal greenery.

We had a three-course meal, including steak and wine on white table linen with champagne velvet table runners. We had a transparent marquee so people could sit in luxury and see the trees, and walk through the woodland and see elegance and opulence every step of the way.

A Glam Woodland Wedding (c) A Little Picture (29)

Our colour scheme was simply ink blue and white. We wanted to keep it classy and elegant.

White flowers with a focus on peonies, roses and hydrangea stood out from the dramatic woodland background – the concept was to use flowers that you wouldn’t find in a woodland setting. We had white table linen and white flowers on mirrored centrepieces.

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field of dreams. a marquee country wedding in yorkshire – philippa & james

November 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Marquee Wedding (c) Carly Bevan (48)

Simplistic and personal, without too much fuss. That’s how today’s beautiful bride describes her big day and we couldn’t put it any better ourselves. There’s a lot to be said about keeping things minimal and pared back for an all-together understated and stylish look, especially in a quaint, outdoorsy setting.

Tying the knot back in May at a charming village church in Millington, Philippa and James hired a stunning marquee for their reception celebrations. And luckily for them, a friend of the family allowed them to put it up in their field – a reception venue truly unique to our couple.

There are lots of wonderful details to inspire you today – from the 60-seater school bus and home-baked wedding cake and gins, to some rather fetching floral displays and decorations, all in keeping with the country vibes. We’ll let Philippa share with you all the lovely highlights…

With images by Carly Bevan.

A Pretty Marquee Wedding (c) Carly Bevan (37)

philippa says: We got engaged in New York. I booked a holiday there as a surprise for James’ 30th as it was somewhere he had always wanted to go. We ended up going later in the year, around my birthday in October. James designed a beautiful ring and somehow got it to New York without me knowing! He popped the question after a bike ride around Central Park.

A Pretty Marquee Wedding (c) Carly Bevan (5)

Our wedding was on 27th May 2017. As a teacher, we were limited as to when we could have the wedding. Initially we were thinking the summer holidays would be ideal but it felt like too far away so we picked the bank holiday weekend in May instead, giving everyone an extra day to recover after the wedding!

We got married at St Margaret’s Church in Millington followed by a reception in a beautiful petal pole marquee in a nearby field in the village. The marquee was supplied by Will’s Marquees. The team were amazing and worked so hard to get the marquee up and looking perfect! I would definitely recommend them.

A Pretty Marquee Wedding (c) Carly Bevan (21)

We chose to get married in Millington as this is where my parents live and work, they own the pub in the village, The Gait Inn. The village itself is beautiful and means a lot to us as a couple. My parents approached friends of theirs who live in the village about the possibility of using their field for the reception venue. The field is very close to the church, has a beautiful view and fitted perfectly with our vision for the day. We wanted to be able to walk from the church to the field with our guests without any fuss, wedding cars or our guests needing to take a long trip to another venue.

A Pretty Marquee Wedding (c) Carly Bevan (14)

We wanted our wedding to be simplistic and personal without too much fuss. We didn’t have a theme in mind but our wedding did have a vintage, country feel.

We chose green and white as our main colour scheme. We thought this would fit with the country feel of the wedding – and I love green!

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home on the farm. a rustic outdoor wedding in the north west – sarah & jonny

October 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Sarah & Jonny's Wedding

Our lovely featured bride Sarah achieved her dream of a marquee wedding at home on her family’s farm complete with beautiful rustic touches and a fairy tale horse-drawn carriage.

Inspired by farming home life and pretty Pinterest pics, Sarah and her team of helpers, decorated the plain marquee with beautiful blooms, bunting, log slices, milk churns and creamery jugs to make her vision a reality.

The entertainment was on form too with a live band, DJ, ice cream van and white bouncy castle no less.

So, join us as we head down to the farm for this fun and fabulous big day…

Images by David Millington Wedding Photography.

Sarah & Jonny's Wedding

sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas day evening. We had already opened presents but Jonny said I had missed one hidden in the Christmas tree. I think at this point Jonny had run off into the next room, when he reappeared he had tears in his eyes. I think he popped the question, but I may have already said “yes” by that point!

Sarah & Jonny's Wedding

Our wedding date was 17th June 2017. We had our ceremony at the beautiful St Michael’s Church in Cockerham. We chose the church because it’s just five minutes from my family’s farm and a marquee wedding reception was my dream.

I decided to go for a farming theme – living on the farm gave me lots of ideas. I opted for plain flooring, a pallet fronted bar, and made metre after metre of hessian flag bunting whilst I was on maternity leave. I collected creamery jugs, borrowed milk churns from my mother-in-law and the log slice table centres were sourced and cut by my brother. Straw bales for decoration and seats were from another local farmer. We browsed charity shops and collected jars to decorate. I found Pinterest really helpful for ideas.

I was advised not to get too hooked on a particularly colour scheme and so chose to keep everything quite neutral. My bridesmaids’ dresses were not the same colour as the groomsmen’s cravats, we just had pinks, lilacs and creams, which fitted perfectly.

Sarah & Jonny's Wedding

Finding my dress was a bit of a challenge. I’d looked around some local wedding shops but nothing wowed me. We then went to Amelia’s Bridal at Clitheroe, the whole shop and team are amazing. The girls really know how to make you feel individual and special. It’s really relaxed, but the boutique is stunning! I knew as soon as I found my dress it was the one.

Jonny wore a grey suit with an ivory waistcoat, which we hired.

The bridesmaid dresses were sourced online (massive risk I know, but it paid off!). The only thing that was altered was the length, my girls said they fitted well and they all looked beautiful!

Sarah & Jonny's Wedding

Elegant Carriages supplied our wedding transport – a stunning new Landau Carriage pulled by two grey horses, Stella and Rose. It really did feel like a fairy tale, it’s an experience we will never forget.

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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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canvas & lace. a relaxed outdoor wedding in derbyshire – emily & jordan

January 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (79)

This afternoon’s real wedding is a shining example of just how beautiful an outdoor British ceremony can be. Marrying at the height of summer, Emily and Jordan enjoyed an open-air ceremony before partying the night away under the cover of a cool tipi tent.

Highlights for us include Emily’s stunning lace detailed dress, the beautiful ‘meadow’ colour palette and that gorgeous floral archway!

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (66)

emily says: We got engaged in Bali on a very relaxing holiday. Jordan had booked a ‘100 candlelit’ meal at a 5* restaurant. We had our own table by the riverside surrounded by candles and flower petals. We were laughing because they provided us with speakers but the only music they had put on the iPod was Boyzone and Westlife. Very cheesy but great to sing along to! I turned around after a photo to find Jordan on one knee saying “you going to marry me or what then?”

We set the date of the wedding for 30th July 2016, as it was the only date our perfect venue – Sycamore Farm Barns in Matlock – had available. It’s in the middle of the Peak District surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. We love the great outdoors so it was perfect. We had a tipi and we were able to get married outside, which was amazing. We were able to stay at the venue in beautiful cottages from the Thursday to the Monday so we could decorate the tipi, put up an archway and include personal touches. Our friends could also camp in the field.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (73)

We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted things relaxed, informal and beautiful.

We had a humanist ceremony led by Janice Castings – it was perfect. Janice was brilliant and it meant the ceremony was personal to us. We married legally on the 24th July with close family present.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (62)

I found my dress in The Cheshire Wedding House. The staff were so friendly, they made me feel really comfortable and at ease. They also let my four-year-old niece try on a flower girl dress, which made her day! My dress was made by Romantica of Devon and it was called Yvonne. The skirt was made out of delicate tulle and felt lovely and floaty. The sleeves were lace and it had a heart-shaped cut out back. I loved it!

My wedding makeup was done by Sarah Morten and I loved it! Luckily, she is an amazing makeup artist and one of my best friends so she also doubled up as one of my bridesmaids.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (110)

Jordan picked a navy tweed suit with a waistcoat from Jennis & Warmann, which he ordered online. The best man wore the same suit.

My bridesmaids wore a Needle & Thread dress that was a navy/taupe colour. I had two flower girls that wore beautiful dresses from a company on Etsy called MillyWeddingShop.

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