July 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jordan picked a navy tweed suit with a waistcoat from Jennis & Warmann, which he ordered online. The best man wore the same suit.
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January 13th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we make no secret of the fact that we love an outdoor wedding – hence our WEDFEST’17 tour of festival style wedding fairs! As such, we’re super thrilled to be introducing our new Sponsor Special Event Tipis, to the blog today.
Set up and run by husband and wife team David and Kate following their own tipi wedding, these two know first-hand how effective a striking tipi can be in providing a wow-factor setting for a couple’s special day.
With bases in both Cumbria and Northumberland, the Special Event Tipis team provide fun and distinctive tents for weddings of all sizes and themes, and have an impressive stock of interior items, – such as Chesterfield sofa, antler chandeliers and fire pits – to help make each big day truly unique (and they’ve a special offer for Brides Up North readers… read on!)
Here to tell us more about their stunning structures is the lovely Kate.
Can you give us a little overview of Special Event Tipis and how the business first started?
kate says: Special Event Tipis was established in 2011 after our own tipi wedding. We wanted an intimate atmosphere mixed with the wow-factor. Our special day was a one-off occasion and we wanted it to be magical!
The tipis were the perfect solution and provided us with the quirky, fun and unique venue that we wanted. It truly was the best day of our lives and we have now helped more than 300 couples plan their perfect day
We are very much client led and can be involved as much or as little as is needed; from simply providing the structures through to organising a full wedding package including styling, catering and bar services.
In your opinion, why do tipis make a great option for weddings?
The warmth and atmosphere created by the tipis is just so special! They are really versitile structures and they make for great parties! Whether you want to bring the outside in during the summer months or cosy up with warm skins and open fires on a winter’s evening, our tipis provide a warm neutral space for you to unleash your individuality.
What types of tipis do you offer?
We stock three different types of tipi structures – the Giant Hat, the Kung and the Nimbus.
By linking our Giant Hats and Kung structures together we can create a variety of diverse and interesting spaces! The floor plan gallery on our website gives a really good indication of guest capacities, as well as ideas on how best to optimise the space inside the tipis.
The Nimbus structure is a standalone mini tipi perfect for bar’s, photoboooths, pamper areas – the possibilities are endless!
How many guests can your tipis cater for?
We cater for events of any size; from intimate wedding parties of 25, to large corporate events. The largest event we have done to date, was 16 tipis for 2,000 guests at a Bank of New York’s sponsorship event.
Can the tipis be used for weddings all year round or are they just available during certain seasons?
We work all year round and offer great deals on out of season events (October to the end of April). David and our crew are experienced in working in all types of weather and we stock everything needed to make a winter event perfect.
Do you offer extras, such as toilets and heating, to make hiring a tipi a simpler option for brides and grooms?
We stock our own heaters and can organise toilets and generators from excellent and reputable companies at no extra cost to the client. We also have excellent links with venues, caterers, florists, photographers and all things bridal!
What other extras do you offer in terms of decoration, and how can these help couples to personalise/theme their weddings?
We love finding new and interesting items for our tipis. Our wine box bar, tree trunk table (a hollow tree trunk shaped like a heart and filled with fairy lights), wine barrel seats and carnival lighting are bespoke pieces made just for us. Our real Chesterfield sofa, antler chandeliers and crate tables are also really popular. Wherever possible, we try to upcycle interesting bits and pieces that are not only quirky, but that fit in with the look and feel of the tipis.
Our lighting packages are also really special and help to create an amazing atmosphere. Lighting is such an important part of the structures and is an area that we are continually developing.
Do you offer brides and grooms inspiration and advice on how to style the tipi and do you dress the tipi as part of the service?
We love getting involved with the dressing side of things, from simply chatting through ideas to full event styling.
November 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s time to forget about the cold and miserable weather that we’ve been having as we brighten up your Friday morning with this fun and fabulous styled shoot.
Captured by Yorkshire-based photographer Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography, the shoot provides perfect inspiration for any laid-back and boho brides out there who crave a vibrant outdoor wedding in natural, rustic surroundings.
We love the lively tropical hints and bold splashes of colour showing how bright hues can be incorporated into a wedding in a beautiful, rather than brash way.
Here with all the details on the styling and the full team behind the shoot is photographer Chloé…
With images by Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography. Models Sophie Martin-Stokes, Lianne Kaye and Katie Beck.
chloe says: We teamed up with a bunch of very inspirational local vendors for this shoot, who all worked incredibly hard organising and carrying out preparations. As a group, we wanted to put together a styled shoot that was bold, full of colour and a lot of fun – we quickly opted for a summery ‘fiesta in the woods’ theme that would provide the perfect inspiration for any laid-back brides out there.
With an intimate three acres of woodland in Leeds, unique venue Applewood Weddings provided us with the perfect backdrop for this outdoor wedding shoot. We made the most of the venue’s woodland walks, ceremony area, cocktail shed and decking. The way-finding signage pictured throughout the shoot was also the perfect way for us to tell the ’story’ of the day in a more coherent manner.
The fiesta look is quite laid-back and is the perfect theme for adding splashes of bright primary colours amongst more traditional and neutral tones. Stylists, Whimsical Events adorned the trees with festive crepe streamers and hand-made tissue paper pom-poms that bounced around excitedly in the wind.
Applewood’s cocktail shed and decking area were dressed up with more of these pom-poms as well as fruity paper pineapples. Little details were important too. A string of pink Flamingo fairy lights injected some light-hearted fun into back of the shed. Both the bar and tables were decorated with vibrant food objects and party cocktails.
Not for the traditional, our three-tier cake boasted every colour of the rainbow. The eccentric base, which looked like it had been caught in the middle of a paint party, juxtaposed with an elegant top tier arrangement of icing flowers and ribbons. Taking on bespoke projects to match clients’ personalities, Debbie Gillespie Cake Design is no stranger to unconventional requests and here is the evidence.
Our woodland fiesta was further beautified by the wildly romantic British flowers; locally grown, cut and arranged by Owl House Flowers. Organic, colourful and relaxed in style, the bouquet and arrangements fit in with the theme just perfectly.
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October 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding is bringing back thoughts warm summer days as bride and groom, Genna and Martin, enjoyed a beautiful outdoor July ceremony at their chosen venue of Abbeywood Gardens in Northwich.
An equally pretty reception followed at the venue, which was made complete with simple rustic styling and a rather dreamy four-tired cake.
We must also mention Genna’s gorgeous gown which has the most exquisite detailing – a Brides Up North dress crush for sure!
With images & video by Two Birds.
genna says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2014, while at home. It was late in the afternoon and I’d spent the day saying “no, he still hasn’t asked” to family and friends (we’d been together seven years at the time). So when we had to pop home for more chairs for Christmas dinner at my brother’s house, it was a total shock to turn around to find Martin down on one knee!
We set the date for 1st July 2016. We’ve always wanted a warm wedding and our preference would have been May, but we fell in love with our venue – Abbeywood Gardens, Delamere – and this was the next available date!
We stumbled across Abbeywood Gardens by accident on the way to another venue’s open day. We totally fell in love with the glass house, beautiful gardens and the outside space, but the real clincher was the staff. Matt, Lauren, Calum and all of the staff were so nice and friendly from the first visit all the way through to the day itself.
We wanted a relaxed wedding that suited the surroundings. It was quite rustic in appearance, but with a hint of Disney style ‘happily ever after’ to it, along with a few little bits of sparkle.
We chose a soft colour palette of mostly creams, golds and pale pinks. The gardens at the venue were so vibrant, that we wanted everything else to be quite neutral.
My dress was a beautiful Maggie Sottero design from Emily Eve, in Birmingham. I knew I didn’t want a typical ‘princess’ dress, and wanted something slightly more fitted, but maybe with a vintage feel. And that’s exactly what I got! It was the third dress of four dresses that I tried on, and after trying on all four, I couldn’t wait to put it back on again. I ordered my full length veil as a last minute addition at my first dress fitting, which was just four weeks before the big day.
July 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for a wedding venue with a difference, this post might just bring an end to your search as we introduce another of our famous Dream Venues to the blog.
Located around half-an-hour away from the historic city of York, the North Star Club is somewhat of a hidden gem, nestled away in secluded countryside for a woodland wedding like no other.
Inspired by the legendary American Great Camps, everything about this place is seriously cool and unique. From its welcoming Woodshed to its cosy and contemporary woodland suites, the North Club provides an ideal setting for those that have a rustic chic theme in mind.
There’s also the open woodland to make use of and tipis can be hired for those looking at larger celebrations. Add into the mix creative owners, attentive staff and first-class caterers and you’ve got yourself what qualifies as a Dream Venue here at Brides Up North.
Here to tell us more about this super special setting is North Star Club owner Carolyn Van Outersterp…
Where is the North Star Club located?
carolyn says: The new North Star Club is nestled within 500 acres of native English woodland in the peaceful Yorkshire Wolds. Inspired by the legendary American Great Camps and suffused with Yorkshire country style, it blends beautifully into the untamed forest setting.
Tell us about the venue and how it has been developed…
Myself and partner Christian, who foundered the company, are multi-award winning designers, with Christian a former landscape architect and I previously trained in fashion.
We are best known for having revolutionized the contemporary fireplace market, (our iconic Firebowl was exhibited at the V&A) and creating CVO Firevault in central London. This unique restaurant bar gained a cult following and was described by Time Out as “one of London’s 10 best kept secrets”.
Six years ago Christian and I put urban life behind us and started Jollydays Glamping, changing the face of British Glamping forever. This unique, woodland camp put four-poster beds and roll-top baths into safari style vintage tents, it won a host of accolades and a loyal fan base, as well as spawning a host of imitators. With Jollydays firmly on the map we turned our attention to developing a new venture and the North Star Club is the culmination of our 15-year dream to create the quintessential woodland retreat.
The Club is inspired by Christian’s North American heritage and his Canadian grandmother’s tales of the American Great Camps – rustic, wilderness retreats, more akin to woodland hotels, they built for wealthy industrialists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We were keen to recreate the magic of these camps, in a rugged Yorkshire setting and the result is a serene and indulgent escape from the pressures of 21st century life.
Since escaping urban life, Christian and I have become passionate advocates of country life – we live on the edge of the North York Moors with our four children, two dozen hens and Binny the Border Terrier.
What facilities does North Star Club have?
The Club has only five private and well-spaced woodland suites, decorated in modern rustic style. These each have a large veranda with gas fired barbecue, cosy sitting room, large bedroom and indulgent spa style bathroom. Close by is The Woodshed, a communal chill out area with an outdoor fire pit and oodles of natural woodland beyond. There is a pizza oven on side ready for guests to use and our Star Suite has the gorgeous Copper Bath and Infra-Red sauna.
Tell us about the space that is available for weddings…
Woodland Weddings at The North Star Club blend sophisticated style with rustic chic. Whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or huge theatrical affair, the enchanted woodland is the perfect venue.
The cosy Woodshed can host up to 40 guests for an intimate wedding blessing ceremony and then sit down dinner, or the wider woodland area can be used for a blessing ceremony area and Papkata tipis can provide tepees for up to 120 guests on the lawns at North Star Club.
Hire the woodland and our ruggedly cosy woodland suites for the whole weekend and enjoy a relaxed and unique experience.
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