December 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 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 for 2014.
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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December 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Unless you just got engaged, like, yesterday (and hey, if you did, congratulations – you are in the right place!) then you might have caught onto the trend for spelling out your love in lights. One supplier who has that service nailed over in the North West is the lovely Megan of Typical Type, who shares this pretty, retro styled shoot with us here on the wedding blog today.
big love people. big love.
With images by Tiree Dawson Photography.
megan says: The premise behind the shoot was the idea that, as suppliers, we are starting to see women styling their hen do’s along the same lines as their weddings. We have also noticed that hen do’s are no longer all about wild nights out, women are choosing quality time with their girlfriends and family. We feel this is really reflected in Tiree’s photographs.
We decided to use The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, which is an iconic 1930′s hotel as we knew it has lots of amazing areas for us to photograph in. However, instead of sticking with the glamorous 1930′s we decided on more of a fun and flirty 1950′s influenced theme.
We asked the best suppliers around to come on board and they did. We invited a stunning mother and daughter combo to model, who along with beautiful Hannah, really made the photos come alive. And so, one hair dresser, one make up artist, three models, one bridal shop, a florist, an ice-cream tricycle and a macaroon supplier later what had initally started life as a mini shoot had blossomed into something a bit more special!
And the rest, they say, is history.
We hope Brides Up North love our work – as you will see, we are all proud Northern Birds!
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September 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a distinct “Tuesday feeling” for much of this morning (the direct opposite of the Friday feeling, which is far nicer). I’m not sure if it’s a come down from the heady mix of industry and bridal events, high heels and glitter whirlwind that I’ve been spinning around in for the past week or so, but today’s huge to-do list of deathly dull admin left me feeling meh.
That’s until I started putting today’s real wedding feature together.
Stacey & Michael’s beautiful celebration at North East landmark venue Wynyard Hall reminded me exactly why I love this job and that however many VAT returns I have to chew through, I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Get ready to pretty up your Tuesday and get lost in lace, blooms and birdcage veils…
With images by Foster & Foster Photography.
Stacey says: We got engaged in October 2012. I was meant to have some annual leave from work, but had been very busy at work and consequently had cancelled my holidays. Unknown to me, Michael had planned a couple of days away. I phoned him from a work to let him know and when I got home from work, I changed into my pyjamas and began to prepare dinner. He nipped upstairs and reappeared in our sitting room on one knee and proposed.
He said that he did it because now he was uncertain as to when we could go away he couldn’t wait!
We were married on 8 March 2014. We knew we did not want a long engagement and 16 to 18 months felt about right.
I didn’t want a typical summer wedding as I envisaged the bridesmaids wearing fur capes outside. We plumped for early March as it was likely to be past the worst bits of winter (heavy snow) but still chilly.
We chose Wynyard Hall, Teeside as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the North East as this is where most of our friends and family are. We also knew we wanted an old venue as this suits our taste. We visited lots of venues, but when we drove up to Wynyard we were blown away by the building and its grounds. When we went inside and seen the amazing stain glass ceiling with grand piano below, I was sold.
When shown around, we liked that we could use three different rooms through the various stages of the day and have our own bar area. The terrace on the right was exclusively ours and allowed our guests privacy. In addition Wynyard had amazing bedrooms to accommodate our immediate family and friends, whilst being near enough to other hotels for other guests. It is an incredible venue, with lots of places for amazing photographs as well as creating the perfect atmosphere.
The team at Wynyard were very helpful and friendly and we knew we’d be in good hands on the day. Chris, our master of ceremonies, kept everything on track and did an amazing job. Maggie our wedding coordinator was very attentive, answered all my queries well and efficiently and everything went smoothly on the day.
Given the venue, I chose lace and, in hindsight, a vintage theme. The boys’ ties were a soft sage green and the bridesmaids wore nude. The flowers then picked up on these colours with ivories and soft peach. I wanted to go for pale colours and tie everything into the lace that I had chosen for the tables.
I wore a fishtail lace Pronovias dress in an off white colour (Diago). I bought it from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. I knew that my preference was for a dress with straps/sleeves and no “bling”. When I tried this dress on, the way it moved made me feel amazing and the lace detail was spectacular. Every dress I tried on after it I kept comparing to this one.
What Katy Did Next made me an amazing bespoke birdcage veil. It had a large ivory flower with pearl centre and jewelled leaves on either side. The small veil was then detachable after the ceremony. Her expertise and skill was second to none, as was her service. She also made me some heart shaped shoe clips in ivory so that my shoes were unique!
Michael and the rest of the bridal party wore a mid grey three piece suit hired from Mia Sposa. We bought white shirts from TM Lewin and bought the ties with matching pocket squares from an online retailer.
I had the bridesmaid dresses made to measure by Eve and Adam in Newcastle. They were nude coloured, sleeveless maxi dresses made to my specification. I chose to do this as I had two adult bridesmaids and two children (13 and 9) so it was difficult to find an off the shelf style to suit all. I also wanted a dress they could easily use again.
I had a bouquet of white lilac, champagne, soft peach and ivory roses and ivory peonies.
Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle provided these and they were amazing. Helen at Katherine’s really understood my vision and worked with me to achieve the look I wanted. She understood that I wanted to use fresh flowers but peonies were out of season at this time so she sourced high quality silk ones which you would not have known were silk when in the arrangement.
The bridesmaids carried very similar bouquets, with more soft peach shades and slightly smaller.
All of the groomsmen had button holes of champagne roses, along with Michael’s grandparents and mum. My mum had a pearl wrist corsage with a champagne rose which was beautiful.
We cannot praise Sarah and Mark enough for the huge part they played in our wedding day. We were recommended to use Foster and Foster Photography by several friends and from the minute we contacted them for a quote the service we received was exceptional!
They met with us prior to the wedding to understand the approach we wanted for our photos, get a feel for our wedding and just get to know us in general. They guided us on the optimal way of getting the crucial group shots we wanted whilst also allowing us to spend time with our guests.
On the day they were very much in the background, but still managed to capture amazing images! They made us feel very relaxed throughout the day. Michael in particular was nervous about being put into staged shots and feeling uncomfortable, but Sarah and Mark really made us feel at ease. They were brilliant at taking the group shots we wanted without being intrusive into the natural flow of the day.
The finished product was beyond our expectations and the follow up service has been exceptional! They sent us a small sample of their shots the day after our wedding which was amazing as we were jetting off on honeymoon. They then quickly produced a slideshow to send to our friends. All of our friends and family adore the images and commented on how well executed the photography was on the day.
We also opted to have an album and they worked with us to include all of our favourite pictures. More importantly they used their expertise to produce a professional finish which flowed well and captured all elements of the day. They also helped us to get some extra shots printed for our family. Small things like arranging specific times to deliver our disk of photos and album (to ensure we would receive them quickly and in perfect condition) really added to the already exceptional service.
I would not think twice about recommending Sarah and Mark as any couple’s wedding photographer. The service was faultless and they are a lovely couple who work incredibly well together. We are very lucky to have such amazing pictures from our special day!
We did not want people to sit on certain sides in the ceremony so had a personalised framed picture made saying “Today two families become one, choose a seat not a side”. I reserved the first two rows of the ceremony room for immediate family, bridesmaids and groomsmen and had names badges made which I used as place names in the ceremony room.
Down the aisle we sprinkled petals and had white lanterns with big candles in them which looked amazing.
In the room where we were married we had to two tall slim vases with large ivory hydrangeas. These were moved to our wedding breakfast room after the ceremony. Each table had a centre piece with tall vases containing a combination of the bouquets flowers with some ivory hydrangeas.
The top table had several small vases and jars dotted along the table with one or two of the bouquet flowers picked out. There were then five circular vases into which my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were dropped before the wedding breakfast. These were all supplied by Katherine’s Florists.
In addition, as part of our wedding package, Wynyard supplied a floral pedestal display and a floral spray for the registrar table in ivory colours.
I made some vintage style ladders for the table plan which were very unique and stood out next to the piano. We also had a table of family wedding photos next to the piano, which was brilliant as some people had passed away and it was a way to recognise them.
I also had made some extra frames with M&S in as well as some Mr and Mrs signs. One of my bridesmaid’s bought us a Mr and Mrs Hall sign for the top table which finished it off perfectly! She gave it to me the night before which made it an extra surprise!
I hired Posh Chair Covers and Bows to do the lace bows and hoods on the chairs as well as lace runners down the tables which fitted perfectly with the theme!
The cake was one of my favourite things! It was off-white to match my dress and covered in flowers in pale green, peach and ivory to match my colour theme. They cascaded down the cake and were more closely gathered near the bottom.
The bottom layer was fruit cake made by Michael’s brother (and the best man) who is a chef. There were then two layers of chocolate cake and one of vanilla. It was made by a family friend, Sue Hall. We also had a huge stack of cupcakes to match the main cake as cupcakes are a favourite of mine!
For the wedding ceremony and drinks reception we had a piano player Mark Deeks of Music Newcastle. We knew we wanted to use the grand piano in the main hallway where guests would be chatting. It was the perfect accompaniment to our ceremony and Mark provided an excellent bespoke service! He took requests on the day which our guests really enjoyed!
On the evening we had a local band, The Fontains. They were better than we could ever have hoped! They performed our first dance song “Read My Mind” by The Killers and the arrangement was fantastic! The atmosphere they created was beyond what we could have hoped for!
My favourite part was walking out of the wedding ceremony to the drinks reception because I was officially married to Michael, everything looked perfect and everyone seemed to be having a brilliant time.
I felt I could relax as everything had come together as planned!
For our honeymoon, we went to Barbados for two weeks. The first week we spent on the west coast near Holtown self catering and the second on the south east coast near St Lawrence Gap.
The weather was perfect for us as it was hot with a breeze. We explored the island in the first week, visiting various places by bus and foot. This included going on a catamaran cruise and Landrover off-road island tour.
The second week was absolute luxury in an all inclusive Sandals resort which was amazing and very relaxing after the hectic wedding build up!
One of the last things we booked was a wedding videographer, Ben at HNE Media. It was one of the best decisions we made as it allowed us to relive the day and listen to the speeches again. Ben was brilliant and the final product was perfect!
As my top tip for other Brides Up North I would definitely recommend splashing out on a videographer.
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September 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to the week Brides Up North! Let’s start this one super prettily, as we join Leanne and Tom for their rustically styled wedding day, full of beautiful blooms and soft pastels. Very easy on the eye.
With images by Arusha’s Images.
Leanne says: Tom proposed on the 26th April 2013. We went for a walk on the beach in Morecambe. My 6 year old daughter took her metal detector & her & Tom were hunting for treasure when ‘surprisingly’ they stumbled across a message in a bottle which my daughter read out to me. It said “Leanne, I love you, will you marry me?”. When I turned around to look at Tom and he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring!
Our wedding date was Sunday 29th June 2014. We chose that date as it was one day before I turned 30!
We chose the beautiful Beeston Manor in Hoghton. The location was ideal for both sides of our family to travel to. It was a family run business & we loved the story of its history, being transformed from an old run down ruin of a barn into a stunning wedding venue, by its owners John Bickerstaffe & his father. The grounds & gardens were amazing & each room had a lovely intimate feel to it. It was a blank canvas which I loved as I am quite fussy with decor & a lot of places we looked at had pictures on the walls or carpets that clashed with the wallpaper. We loved all the stone & the wooden beams. It was perfect!
I would not hesitate to recommend Beeston Manor to other couples. It is the most beautiful venue and the staff are fantastic. They will work with you to ensure you have a wedding that is exactly how you want it.
The style of the wedding was quite rustic; hessian bows, bunting, jam jars, etc. We chose this as it worked well with the style of venue & all looked so pretty. The colour scheme was brought out mainly with the flowers. I chose ivory for my dress & also for my flower girls then pastel shades of pink, lilac, lemon, green & ivory for all the flowers & the cupcakes.
I chose an Essense of Australia gown from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster. It was ivory, strapless, with a sweetheart neckline, drop waist and full skirt. The bodice was lace with a full tulle skirt with lace detail between each layer. It was stunning! I chose that dress because it was completely different to anything I had originally wanted & it made me feel like a princess. It was classy and glamorous & after trying on hundreds of different dresses that was the one that I kept thinking about & going back to!
My hand tied bouquet was provided by Abi’s Arrangements in Bare, Morecambe. She used a mix of flowers including spray roses, phlox, lisianthus, peonies, & gypsophila.
Tom wore a tailor made brown tweed suit by Victor Valentine. It was pretty unique.
We didn’t have groomsmen, or big bridesmaids. But the flower girls wore ivory dresses that had a full net skirt with scattered Swarovski crystals and big flowers attached, from BHS. They also had flower crowns by Abi’s Arrangements
Our photographer was Arusha Jenks from Arusha’s Images Photography. She was fantastic & we couldn’t recommend her enough! She arrived early so she could look around the venue and the grounds & find the best spots for our posed photos. She took photos throughout the day and captured all the special moments without intruding or getting in the way. She was so lovely & knew exactly what to do to get the best from us & get smiles from all the children! She has produced beautiful photos that we will treasure for the rest of our lives!
All the flowers for the wedding reception were provided by Abi’s Arrangements. Other decorations included decorated jam jars, hessian place mats and top table runner, bunting, place names cards & seating plan. All these little details were made by my mother in law, Shirley. She worked tirelessly to recreate all my ideas & she did a wonderful job! The chair covers & bows were provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.
We had favours on the tables for our guests. These were shortbread biscuits with an iced heart design, they were wrapped in brown paper & tied with string & a “with love T & L” gift tag. These were also provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.
We decided to have a BBQ instead of a sit down 3 course meal. We both wanted something informal and it worked so well. We had homemade burgers, sausages & BBQ chicken with floured buns, salad, jacket potatoes and garlic bread. We had so many compliments about the food. It was delicious! In the evening, cones of chips were given out to our guests with all the condiments on the table. It was a great idea & perfect when you’ve had a few beers!
For our wedding cake, we chose vanilla, lemon & white chocolate cupcakes, decorated with iced flowers in pastel colours. They were yummy! These were also provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.
During the day we had a guy called Brendan McMahon, who sang and played guitar. I had found him busking in Manchester city centre a couple of months before the wedding, and just asked him there and then if he would play. He was fantastic! I knew I wanted the whole day to just feel really laid back and relaxed and he created the atmosphere perfectly!
Later in the evening we had a band called Sold to the Sky. They are very well known locally & were my first choice! They played a mixture of songs from ACDC to Rhianna and had everyone up dancing all night!
We also had a photobooth from The Party Project, which kept everyone laughing. It was a great idea & everyone loved.
I arranged a surprise for Tom. He was in the army for 7 years and was also in the pipe band: The Pipes & Drums 1st Battalion Scots Guards, as a base drummer. It was a huge part of his life which he loved and the other band members are some of his best friends so it seemed fitting to have them play on our wedding day. Along with a highland dancer from the regiment. Tom was so happy! It was the best present I could have given him, and he even got to play his old drum again with the band on our special day! Everyone danced along too!
My favourite part of the day was the look on my husband’s face, firstly when he saw me walking down the aisle towards him then later when he saw the Pipes and Drums play. Priceless memories. Also waiting to walk down the aisle seeing how excited my daughters & my other flower girls were. They all looked so beautiful.
We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. Starting in Barcelona, then moving to Cannes, Genoa, Rome, Montenegro, Croatia & ending in Venice! We had a week of child free, complete relaxation! Lounging by the pool. Afternoon siestas in the hammocks that looked out onto the beautiful views. Hot tubs, massages, great on-board entertainment! The ship was stunning. The food was amazing. I think we came home at least a stone heavier than when we left! It was so romantic. The perfect start to married life!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to invite the people that mean the most to you, even if others may be offended. It’s your special day, surround yourself with all the special people in your life! Think outside the box, most hotels have wedding packages, but it doesn’t mean other options aren’t available! It’s your day, do it the way you want it!! Enjoy every single moment because it really does go so fast!
November 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime
The people in the above photograph just happen to have been responsible for some of the worst hangovers in my whole life (the last on Friday morning, thanks to a flying visit and some Beaujolais Nouveau). They are my great friends Claire and Ben and I’m thrilled to share their Real Wedding at the beautiful Hilltop Country House – one of our fabulous new wedding exhibition venues for 2014 – on the blog this morning and kick starting the week.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Lee Brown Photography, Ben and Claire’s wedding – at which I was honoured to be a guest – was oh so pretty, personal and lots of fun (from what I can remember of it)! I hope the sun shines on their marriage as it did on their wedding day, bright and beautiful. I know it will.
Claire says: Ben asked me to marry him in November 2011 at the Feversham Arms Spa Hotel in North Yorkshire and we were married on Saturday 8th June 2013 at the beautiful Pott Shrigley Church followed by our reception at Hilltop Country House, Prestbury.
We wanted a summer themed party and Hilltop had fantastic tiered gardens, a great marquee set-up and excellent hosts who we knew would do a really good job for us on the day.
We both (shamelessly) like our holidays and we wanted an almost Caribbean theme, so we organised mojitos and a steel band for the drinks reception. Luckily, the sun was shining all day too! The colour palette was pastels and we had a pale mint green with lace details.
My dress was from La Sposa and Ben wore a morning suit from the vintage collection at Austin Reed. The bridesmaids wore mint lace dresses from Marks and Spencer. The groomsmen wore classic morning suits from Austin Reed vintage with mint ties and a grey waistcoats.
All the flowers were from Zu Zu’s Petals and my bouquet was perfect for the colour theme.
We had two open top Victorian cars. Ben reminds me that I wouldn’t let him have the roof down though so it didn’t spoil my hair!
As well as the steel band during the drinks we had garden games such as croquet, boules and giant Jenga on the lawns.
We had some great quality food at the wedding breakfast and then cheese, crackers, chutney and port later in the evening. Our wines and champagne were from Villa St Simon in Bordeaux.
Our cake was a tiered design from a shop called Choccywoccydodah. One tier was lemon, the next was chocolate, the top was coffee. The outside of the cake was covered in white chocolate icing with mint stripes to match our colour theme.
As a surprise to us, we had a TV screen on loop throughout the day in the marquee playing a montage of shots of both of us as babies and toddlers.
We loved every bit of it but, if we had to choose, my favourite part was the service and Ben’s was either arriving at the venue and seeing how great it looked, or, oddly for him (!) even the first dance.
We had a band called A Few Good Men after dinner and we finished with a DJ. The speeches were also good entertainment too!
For our honeymoon we went to the USA – New York, Las Vegas , San Francisco and then we drove down Route One to LA and San Diego. We were away for just under the weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and get all the last minute “small” details sorted at least a couple of days before the big day – then take some time to relax in those last few days beforehand.
Congratulations Claire & Ben!
Lee Brown Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post
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