April 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding takes place in one of my favourite places, Bradfield – a gorgeous little village in Yorkshire that was something of a hidden gem until the Tour de France zipped through it last year.
Clear of cyclists, Sophia and Sean headed to Foxholes Farm to throw a festival themed outdoor wedding inspired by their love of music.
Add some incredible blooms, bright bunting and striking flags to the live entertainment provided by the groom’s band and you’ve got one rocking wedding.
Lets head to the main stage…
With images by Photography34.
sophia says: We got engaged in October 2012 the Northern Lights while we were in Iceland! Sean really isn’t romantic but this is the most romantic thing he’s ever done!
We decided to book the wedding for 23rd August 2014 as we wanted it over the bank holiday so people could celebrate and party with us all weekend!
Cressbrook Hall, near Buxton, was our chosen venue for the wedding ceremony. We fell in love with its beauty straight away. It was too small to hold our total wedding though so we opted just to have the ceremony in the orangery overlooking the stunning Peak views. The reception venue was then held at Foxholes Farm in Bradfield, just outside Sheffield (not far from where we live). We loved the views and the flexibility of this venue – it gave us a chance to put our own stamp on it.
We had a festival wedding – ‘Wedstock’ – Sean plays in a band and we love going to festivals so it seemed to fit us!
We wanted bright, sunny, warm colours to brighten up our marquee and to fit the summer season – so chose red, orange and hot pink. We loved our colour scheme! The colours looked so lovely in the photos.
I found my dress in Blissful Daze in Sheffield which has since shut down (such a shame as it was a lovely shop). I’m half Peruvian so a Spanish-designed and inspired dress caught my eye and I loved it straight away! When I put it on it felt so ‘me’ and so right! It was by Pronovias.
Sean and his groomsmen wore grey suits from Moss Bros with white shirts and pink ties.
The bridesmaids wore watermelon – which is a colour I love (they took some convincing but liked it in the end, Bridesmaidzillas!) Their dresses were from JJsHouse off the internet believe it or not! It was a risk ordering online, but ultimately I was pleased with them – despite being slapped with an import tax I wasn’t expecting – never mind!
We travelled in an amazing VW campervan called Rita. Grant drove us from Candy Apple Weddings – he only does a few select weddings a year but would highly recommend him!
Tony from Photography 34 was our chosen photographer. We think Toy is amazing and would recommend him to anyone! His photos are gorgeous. We also had a videographer who was great – Wedding-Cam.
Our florists were Swallows and Damsons from Sheffield – they were brilliant form start to finish and my bouquet was probably the part of the wedding which most surprised me – I loved my flowers more than I had anticipated and actually feel quite emotional thinking about my bouquet now! They were excellent – again I would highly recommend.
Swallows and Damsons did all the flowers displayed in watering cans and homemade vases alongside hand-decorated candles at the reception. To decorate we also had bunting made my Sean’s amazing mum. And my mum handmade the petal confetti.
We created a little message in a bottle for each guest for favours. Sean and I wrote a message for each of our family/friends – we just wanted to bring a personal message from us to each of our special guests. They went down a storm and we were told our guests shed a few tears whilst reading them! They doubled up as name-places too.
My friend Lisa made our wedding cupcakes which were carrot and vanilla. They were delicious and looked beautiful!
Friends 4 Dinner did our catering. We had scallops and pate followed by salmon and beef, as we wanted something that everyone could enjoy. The food was delicious and the catering was to a very high standard. To drink we had Rioja (Sean’s favourite) and Sauvignon Blancfrom New Zeland (my favourite).
Sean’s in a band so played the wedding to entertain our guests. They’re called Control Freak and were ace! We also had a magician Ben Z from Sheffield to dazzle us with some tricks. At the ceremony our friend Al sung us down the aisle to Incubus’ If Not Now, When – it’s a very special song and brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye thinking about it!
We would recommend our wedding venue to other couples who want to make their big day personal.
I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite part of the day – it was all amazing! Being sung down the aisle to our very special song by our friend or maybe driven around the Peaks with my new husband, sipping champagne in a VW was pretty special! Tony found us some gorgeous spots to be snapped. When I look through the photos, they’re the ones I love the most – the gorgeous views with my new hubby!
For our honeymoon we went backpacking in Sri Lanka. It was so nice to relax after the busy few weeks of the wedding, plus seeing some amazing sights.
Sean’s top tip to Brides Up North would be to have a proper think about everything that needs to happen on the day, for example certain tracks being played at certain times, music being set up, equipment being in place, and delegate these tasks to a groomsman.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is to prioritise capturing your special day in as much details as you can, either in photo or video format (or both if possible) as the minute it’s over you’ll want to relive it again and again and it’s nice to have those memories for the rest of your lives. Every year on our anniversary we’ve pledged to watch our wedding video with chocs and champagne! It’s a nice tradition we hope to create following our special day.
April 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Nowadays brides and grooms go beyond a colour scheme to theme their wedding day to reflect them as an individual couple – their personalities, passions and hobbies.
Today’s real wedding couple Nicola and Andrew did just that by arranging their ‘festival wedding’ around their love of music with vinyl decorations, gig ticket style invitations and live entertainment, in which the wedding couple themselves took part.
So grab your wellies and watch out for the mud as we share Nicola and Andrew’s soulful big day.
With images by Ricky Carrington Photography.
nicola says:We got engaged on 23rd Feb 2013 while we were away in Paris for the weekend. I’d always wanted to go, and it was a surprise weekend away which Andrew organised.
We set the date for 17th May 2014. It was in the rugby off-season and was an available date at the venue we wanted – Willington Hall Hotel in Tarporley, Cheshire. We both really liked the venue as it was easy on the eye and the team there were very relaxed in catering to our needs.
We decided on a festival/music theme for our big day – I play the electric guitar and Andrew plays the drums. We both played with the wedding band at our reception as a surprise to our guests. We played Spitting Games by Snow Patrol. Music is an important part of our lives and we wanted our wedding to reflect that.
To fit in with our theme the place names were old vinyls with guests’ names on them, the table names were groups/albums close to our hearts, our invitations were like gig tickets and we had lots of photographs with our guests in wellies.
To go along with our festival theme we had a yellow and blue colour scheme. I liked sunflowers and the idea stemmed from there really!
Before trying on any wedding dresses, I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted so I went into a shop and told the assistant this. She then helped me try on a wide range of different types of dresses. I fell in love with a Jenny Packham dress – it was the third dress I tried on! I then went to a further two shops and ended up going back to the original shop to get the Jenny Packham dress. I can’t really tell you why I picked I just loved wearing it. The shop I got my dress from is called The Wedding Club in Birmingham. The bridesmaids got their dresses from there too.
Makeup and hair on the day was organised by the spa attached to Willington Hall and was absolutely fabulous. The hairdresser was called Sian Dutton who was recommended to us by the spa.
All the male wedding party wore the same suit. It was from a local suit vendor called L & J Formal Hire. All the males wore converse rather than shoes which all matched, in keeping with our festival/music theme. I wore flat shoes for the wedding ceremony and converse which my friend had decorated especially for the day in the evening.
Ricky Carrington Photography did our wedding photos. Ricky was brilliant and made everyone feel at ease which is a big help on the day. Any request we made wasn’t a problem and the photographs were amazing.
The flowers were based around sunflowers with a few extra bits. Arrangements were done by Black Cat Floral Design who I would highly recommend. I’m not actually a big fan of flowers and Mel really helped bring out my one idea of sunflowers and made the flowers/venue look amazing. They arranged everything and everyone on the day, which is a lovely personal touch.
We didn’t have any favours as such on the tables, instead we had a retro sweet table which the florist also decorated and set up for us. We had cupcakes rather than one big wedding cake, which was made by my close friend Natasha and reflected our musical theme.
To provide entertainment we had live band for the evening called The Smooth Criminals. This was a true highlight of the day, especially when we played a song with them. Again, as music is a big part of our lives, it seems a good match to have a live band for the evening. To keep children (and some of the adults) entertained at the wedding we also had giant games such as snakes and ladders and Jenga.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others. The venue is gorgeous to look at and you can get married outside, which we did. We had the entire venue to ourselves, including accommodation for all of the wedding party. The staff were amazing and no request was too much trouble for them. They made me feel in control of the decisions made for the wedding which they were supportive in, it didn’t feel like a ‘package’ wedding – everything felt individual. Sue was our wedding co-ordinator who I would recommend also!
I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved all of it!
For our honeymoon we had a bit of adventure! As well as music, we also love to travel so we took full advantage of our three weeks off work and went to Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo and Dubai. We spent every day exploring – it was amazing, especially Tokyo.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is chill out – everything works out fine in the end!
March 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
There is so much pretty in this opening wedding of the week that it’s difficult to know where to look first.
Richard and Andrea’s aim for their big day was to create an ‘end of summer party’ feel, and boy did they hit the nail on the head.
This laidback outdoor wedding has it all – hugely swoon-worthy décor, beautiful bright blooms, live entertainment and even a double decker bus bar!
I strongly suggest grabbing a large notebook for this one ladies, it’s quite literally bursting with inspiration!
With images by Carly Bevan Photography.
andrea says: We’d already been together for almost ten years and knew one day we’d get married there was no huge romantic proposal more a decision to buy a ring and set a date which we did in April 2013.
We decided to have an end of summer wedding on 13th September 2014 in the hope we would have a lovely warm September day and to give us about 18 months to plan from setting the date.
We had our ceremony at our local town hall as neither of us are religious we didn’t want a church wedding and the town hall is a beautiful building which exits onto a large park. We then went on to have our reception in a Sperry Tent from Papakata at White Cottage in Hornsea, which is normally a caravan and camping field but we had exclusive use for the weekend. We knew from the beginning we wanted a laid back, less formal wedding day and we loved the flexibility a marquee would give us. We were originally having teepees then when Papakata introduced the Sperry Tents – we loved the lighter inside and high ceilings and so swapped!
We wanted the day and planning to be as laid back as possible so opted for an end of summer party feel with an outdoor fire, double decker chill out bus bar, bouncy castle and a chill out area with candy buffet and photo booth inside.
We went for mixed light summer shades of blue, lemon, a mid pink, lilac and green to add some colour as we had a plain cream backdrop and so most of the colour was introduced through the flowers.
My dress was from Monsoon. I hadn’t set out particularly to get a high street dress I more stumbled across it whilst browsing bridesmaid dresses and decided it was perfect for the laid back day we were planning. I made my own veil (with lots of help from my now mother-in-law) which seemed like a good idea at the time and I did love the finished item but as all the lace was hand sewn on and very intricate – it must have taken in excess of 30 hours! My shoes were from Irregular Choice.
Richard wore a navy blue three piece suit from Thomas Nash at Debenhams and tan shoes from Rockport.
After a full day shopping with the adult bridesmaids they chose their dresses from BHS. They’re all quite different shapes but the dress suited them all and we also got the matching shoes. Whilst getting the bridesmaid dresses I spotted some lovely navy suits for the groomsmen too so we ended up buying their suits from BHS. The little bridesmaids wore Debenhams dresses and the little boys’ chinos, shirts and waistcoats also came from Debenhams.
My and the bridesmaids’ hair was done by Kate Hickman Freelance Hairdresser. Kate was fantastic and my hair stayed in place all day and night and having a hairdresser visit us at home took away all the chaos in getting ready.
We hired a VW camper van from I do VW Weddings although sadly it was Craig’s last wedding with his campervan due to other commitments.
Our photographer was Carly Bevan. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Carly she was recommended to us and from the minute we met her we knew she was perfect for photographing our day. Carly’s photography style was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want too many styled shots and more of a story of the day as it happened. The package Carly provides is perfect – we wanted the full day from getting ready to the first dance, and the engagement shoot we had was more of a bonus as it’s not something we would normally have decided to have. However Carly was absolutely right to include it as it prepares you more for having your photographs taken on the day. Carly is so friendly and made everyone and the children so relaxed we were delighted when we got the photographs back, we absolutely love them.
I had a bouquet by Bohemia Floral Design in Hornsea it was exactly how I imagined with a mix of beautiful colourful flowers. As my mum died a few years before the wedding I had a picture of her tied into my bouquet so in some small way she could be there on our special day. I also had a flower hair comb as did the adult bridesmaids, the children had flower crowns, which they loved!
Richard’s mum grew the plants for the table centre pieces which were in terracotta pots that we painted cream. We then had some jam jars of flowers dotted around the cake table and chill out area arranged by Bohemia Floral Design and with having such a lovely high ceiling we had decided that we would love flowers to be hanging from the ceiling down the centre of the marquee. Abi from Bohemia didn’t disappoint with six hanging hoops of flowers, which all looked stunning.
We made mini bottles of Limoncello for the guests’ favours as we felt it went well with the theme of the day and they were easy to make in advance of the last minute chaos.
We had a three tiered cake with a garden theme round the edges with each tier a different flavour. This was made by Jacqui at A Little Slice of Cake Heaven. We then had a cake topper made by Poppy’s Cake Toppers which we have to keep forever.
We decided to have a hog roast plated with salads and rather than having a starter we decided on mixed mini cakes followed by a huge cheeseboard. The catering was all done by Hot Trotters from Fitling, East Yorkshire. We had Pimms on arrival with bottles of Rioja and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc on the tables and Prosecco for the toast drink from Majestic Wine Warehouse.
We booked our evening band Helter Skelter immediately as we’d seen them before and loved their music – they had everyone dancing all evening. We also decided we wanted some live music during the day as we both love live music it was one of the more important details for us. We decided on Rock My Reception and they were brilliant. They played while guests entered the ceremony, the arrival music and departure music and then played at the reception until after the meal even playing Postman Pat for one of our younger guests. Both bands were excellent on the day and the run up.
As I own a wedding details shop, And All Things Nice, lots of our special touches were items we stock including the activity books for the children, the various hessian buntings, including the cards one was suspended from an old suitcase to make a wedding post box and the Candy Buffet one, which we used on our own dresser to display the sweets on. I also, with the help of my amazing friends and our relatives, made the napkin rings, table runners, flowered hearts for the chair backs, bunting from my grandma’s old doilies and 1,000 paper cranes for the backdrop in the photo booth that we created.
We used Double Decker Bar for our bar which was a hit with the guests and provided extra chill out seating outside of the marquee. The bouncy castle was from Bouncing Bonanza Bouncy Castle Hire and they also got us our straw bales which we used for outdoor seating. The bouncy castle was well worth the money as the children bounced on it nonstop before the meal.
We would definitely recommend White Cottage to other wedding couples. The field is perfectly cut and flat so there was no marshy areas and it was huge, plenty of space for camping guests and lots of parking, there was even space for the coach we used to transport guests from the ceremony to pull in and turn around. Sharon who runs the venue was also really helpful on the run up to the day. We would also recommend Papakata, their attention to detail and organisation really were excellent we had full confidence in them right through the planning process. They also had an amazing choice in furnishings for the Sperry Tents.
Two special parts of the day stand out in my mind. After the ceremony we had some photographs on the way to the reception. That short 20 to 30 minutes that we spent away from everyone was really relaxing. Then afterwards when we walked into the reception and everyone was outside with the band playing away and drinks flowing and the sun shining and we could finally celebrate with all our friends and family exactly how we pictured it was amazing.
We decided that due to the hands on nature of having a marquee wedding we wanted to be somewhere relaxing without a long flight for our honeymoon and so chose a week at the 5* Epic Sana Spa Hotel in Praia da Falésia, Portugal. We had a lovely relaxing time with a honeymoon upgrade to a Deluxe Studio apartment. We booked the honeymoon through Su Dillon at Travel Counsellors which removed all the stress of planning it as Su organised private transfers and all the details so we just turned up and relaxed!
My tops tips to other Brides Up North would be try to think at the beginning what parts of the day are most important to you so you can allocate your budget accordingly. We both love live music and that made our day for us, a great photographer too as you spend your full day with them and the photographs last long after the day. Also ask friends or family for help with any items you’re making as early as possible, we had some amazing help but we should have asked a bit earlier!
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March 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
The unpredictable British weather is a concern for many wedding couples in the run up to their big day, particularly for those saying their ‘I dos’ outdoors.
Thankfully luck was on the side of today’s real wedding couple Elizabeth and Stuart when they tied the knot during a gorgeous wedding in the grounds of Middleton Lodge. I love the bright, breezy and relaxed vibes that come from this wedding and I’m sure you’ll agree Elizabeth looks stunning in her lace Enzoani gown.
Girl done good!
p.s. You can join Brides Up North for our Luxury Wedding Exhibition at this oh-so-beautiful wedding venue on Sunday 12th April 2015, 1pm till 4pm. Click here to pre-register.
With images by Stan Seaton Photography.
elizabeth says: We got engaged in Bali in June 2013 on the beach whilst having a romantic candlelit dinner on our last night of our holiday. Stuart got down on one knee and gave me a pretend ring!
When we returned we set the date for Thursday 24th July 2014. We always wanted a summer wedding and in particular to have the service outdoors.
Our venue was Middleton Lodge, Richmond. We chose it simply because we both instantly fell in love with the lodge and its surroundings – the gardens are so beautiful!
We didn’t have a theme as such but used a colour scheme of champagne and natural shades to style the wedding.
My dress was a lace fitted Enzoani design with scallop finish from Poppy Bridal. I chose it because I love lace and found the perfect dress for my maid of honour which complemented it and was also from Poppy’s. I wore Jimmy Choo Evelyn shoes and a diamond and pearl hair comb. I kept my jewellery simple with diamond drop earrings that matched my engagement ring and a diamond bracelet.
Myself, mum, sister and godmother stayed at The Coach House at Middleton Lodge the night before the wedding, which was a lovely start the celebrations. We walked over to Middleton Lodge in the morning for breakfast and pampering! Selena from Cocoon did my make-up as well as my mum’s and sister’s and Dianne Minnes did our hair.
Jane and Stan from Stan Seaton Photography were our photographers which was a special wedding present from my godmother Lesley. They gave us many laughs and made us feel very comfortable but are extremely professional and we would recommend them to anyone – they are simply the best!
Both my sister and I had a cream roses in our bouquets and Isla had a flower wand. On the tables we had pink hydrangeas and cream roses on mirrored plates and crystals. Beth from Eliza Blooms provided all the flowers and they were exactly how we imagined them.
For favours we gave each of our guests a slate heart with their name chalked on the front and the date of our wedding date on the back. We got then from Dotty’s Place in Richmond.
Our cake was a cream rose chocolate three-tier cake from Marks & Spencer.
For the entertainment we had John McGeough playing chilled out sax whilst we had our drinks reception and The Imposters were our band for the night.
The whole day was absolutely perfect. My best friend Rochelle did a beautiful reading at our wedding service that stands out as a special part of the day. I walked down the aisle to Stevie Wonder, My Cherie Amour, and our first dance was to John Legend, PDA.
We would definitely recommend Middleton Lodge everyone as it’s so friendly and the team there work to such a high standard. It’s a special place that you can go back to visit after the wedding and recall such happy memories.
We went to Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles for our honeymoon straight after the wedding which was very romantic! However, after being ill for three months after the wedding we decided we needed a second honeymoon after all the worry and celebrated again by going to LA and New Zealand in January.
Our tip for other Brides Up North would be just to enjoy every stage. All the planning can be quite stressful but is also so much fun and you actually miss it afterwards so just enjoy every minute!
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January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Can we all just pause for a moment please and admire today’s bride’s beautiful wedding style? From her bejewelled headband to her full length veil and beaded gown, this lady looks like she’s straight off the catwalk.
And her boy doesn’t scrub up badly either, does he?
Carly and Louis’s super stylish, yet relaxed tipi wedding celebration was full of fun, blousy blue blooms, twinkling fairy lights and special little touches. Just lovely.
With images by GS Studio.
carly says: We were on a snowboarding holiday in Sauze D’oulx, Italy for New Year’s 2013/2014. Half way down a gorgeous tree lined slope, snow coming down on New Year’s Day, Louis stopped me saying he needed a rest, when we stopped, he flipped over onto both knees (still strapped in) and pulled the little box out his pocket.
We set the date for 6th September 2014, we chose it hoping it would be a good day for the weather, it was so nerve wracking getting married in a tipi, it could have gone one way or another!
We got married in a tipi supplied by the fantastic Unique Tent Company in my parents’ garden. It had always been a dream of mine ever since they bought the place, they weren’t quite as excited as I was when I came to them with the idea, but they came round in the end and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a real labour of love getting the garden ready.
We had a very natural, garden theme, it just fit with the fact we got married at home, very relaxed. Charlotte from The Finishing Touch Company and Helen at Bels Flowers really pulled the whole place together, it was an absolute wonderland.
We chose to go with blues and greys for our colour palette, the stone in my engagement ring is a star sapphire and blue-grey in colour so we decided to follow that.
I chose an Eliza Jane Howell full length gown with long sleeves in a heavily beaded 20’s style, I felt so glamorous the second I put it on, I knew it was the one. I bought it from Kathryn S Trueman in Morpeth and the girls were amazing!
Louis wore a three piece navy suit, tartan tie and some fabulous Grenson shoes from End Clothing, very dapper!
Our groomsmen, all TWELVE of them wore the same as Louis, and the bridesmaids wore the Ghost dye to order Chelsea dress.
Gemma Smith at GS Studio was our photographer and she was fantastic and followed exactly what we wanted. I can’t recommend her enough, everyone was so at ease, and the pictures are so natural, exactly what we wanted!
My dad bought a 1953 Ford Popular when I was about 3 years old and after a few fun trips as a child it sadly went into retirement when I was about 8 years old. Dad knowing how much I adored the old car secretly had it all fixed up, serviced, new wheels the lot as a surprise and we’re so lucky to be able to take our little wedding car for a tootle now whenever the weather permits all be it at a max of 20mph (which made the journey to the church that morning VERY interesting!)
Helen at Bels Flowers provided the most beautiful natural bouquets of hydrangeas, nigella, dusty miller and even included some herbs so the bouquets had the most beautiful aroma.
The Finishing Touch Company provided most of the internal decorations with bell jars and watering cans bursting with flowers on the tables, the festoon lighting and the blackboard seating plan were the piece de resistance from Coco Luminaire.
We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!
My mum’s best friend made the wedding cake, she’s so talented! I wanted an informal cake that really represented us so she made it look like an alpine slope with two little snowboard figurines on the top dressed in our wedding clothes, it was so special and absolutely delicious!
We chose a band called the Soundcasters from London, we’d heard them on the holiday in the Alps when we got engaged and couldn’t get them out of our heads, they had the whole place jumping every night, exactly what we wanted for our special day.
100% everyone we used were top notch, we didn’t hit one hitch throughout the day, largely thanks to the co-ordination from our catering team at Sheer Elegance Catering, Anthony and Chris ran the day like clockwork and Jane from Newcastle Falcons supplied the bar. She managed to come up with every request we had and didn’t run short of a thing on the night.
Snaparazzi Photobooths supplied us with one of their fabulous booths which went down a treat and Coco Luminaire supplied the large illuminated letters, they even managed to get them outside on the lake, it looked absolutely stunning! Bit-a-Sweet supplied the sweety cart and were kind enough to keep it stocked all night.
I couldn’t choose a favourite part of the day, I guess the speeches were pretty special though, I have the give my dad, Louis and all 12 best men their dues, we were in stitches!
After the wedding we took a two week snowboarding holiday in the alps, a little energetic for a honeymoon, but it was so much fun, we had a week alone and a week with friends, my stomach still hurts from laughing so much!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax, enjoy it and if you know you’re a worrier then give yourself plenty of time, it’s the most amazing day!
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