Brides Up North

softly stunning. Vera Wang for a romantic wedding at Eshott Hall – natalie & warren

November 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (116)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (6)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (3)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (9)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (22)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (30)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (36)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (40)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (46)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (52)

Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (62)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (60)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (69)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (79)

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (83)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (101)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (90)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (106)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (107)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (127)

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.

a romatic pastel wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography  (112)

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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stately lace. a pretty wedding at Wynyard Hall – stacey & michael

September 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Wynyard Hall Wedding by Foster and Foster Photography - 015

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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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pastel fantastical. a rustic wedding in the north west – leanne & tom

September 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (55)

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.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (57)

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.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (15)

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

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (29)

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!

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (21)

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.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (19)

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.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (23)

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!

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (64)

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.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (63)

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!

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Garden Party. La Sposa For A Real Wedding At Hilltop Country House – Claire & Ben

November 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Lee Brown Photography

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. 

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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. 

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

All the flowers were from Zu Zu’s Petals and my bouquet was perfect for the colour theme.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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!

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

As well as the steel band during the drinks we had garden games such as croquet, boules and giant Jenga on the lawns.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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. 

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Claire&Ben0712

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

We had a band called A Few Good Men after dinner and we finished with a DJ. The speeches were also good entertainment too!

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

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.

Lee Brown Photography

Congratulations Claire & Ben!

If you’d like to see your own Real Wedding here on Brides Up North, here’s how.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Pastel Plans & Floral Fancies! Wednesday Wedding Inspiration

February 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Pastel Plans - Wedding Inspiration

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1. Tag Washing Line 2. Tags Frame 3. Bunting Table Plan 4. Bird Place Card 5. Butterfly Place Card 6. Lavender Pot Plan 7. Tag & Handkerchief Place Card 8. Pinwheel Place Cards

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It’s a double whammy of lovely this Wednesday as our regular guest blogger Katy has been busy sourcing the pastel pretties for Brides Up North reader Natasha.  I’m certainly not complaining!

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Katy says: This week I was asked by lovely bride Natasha for some wedding inspiration with her fun pastel theme wedding. Natasha needed help with ideas for her table decor, florals and place cards and I have put together these two beautifully coloured boards to fill you all with inspiration.

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The humble luggage tag is one of my favourite ways to direct your guests to their seats. There are endless ways of displaying them and they don’t always have to give off a vintage rustic feel. Keep them crisp and white with a modern ribbon and pin to a beautiful frame or attach to a single flower at your guest’s table setting. If vintage is your thing then brown or aged tags are perfect. Stain them with tea and attach knick knacks that mean something to you – wooden bobbins, rusted keys, pegs, brooches…

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I love interactive seating plans and place cards that can become part of your decor. Vicky Trainor’s linen floral bunting/washing line plan is to die for, and I think your guests would be pretty impressed at the simplicity of the bird & butterflies perched on their glassware or cutlery!
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Floral Fancies - Wedding Inspiration

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1. Pastel Jars 2. Floral Crate Centrepiece 3. Coloured Glass Table Scape 4. Nude Florals 5. Blue Teacup Candles 6. Ombre Tulips 7. Bow Napkin Decor

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Floral wise there is a huge trend for mixing and matching. If you are filling your bouquet with sophisticated blooms that are a tad expensive to use in all your centrepieces just blend a few in with cheaper options or make a feature of the fancier flowers by using single stems in thin glass bottles.

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I absolutely love the chic effect of bundled tulips in varying colours – this could be easily replicated with a variation of flowers to suit your theme or budget. The rustic crate centrepiece is one of my favourites and if you are wanting to keep the florals pale, add colour around the crate with pretty candles, coloured glassware or napkins – and how amazing is the bow napkin idea?!

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I hope this has fuelled everyone’s wedding brains and inspired you to get decorative with table plans!

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Hopefully the colours will entice the Spring weather out of hiding…

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Katy will be exhibiting at the Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition at Hardwick Hall Hotel, this Sunday.   Come along and say hello – the event is FREE ENTRY and is open to the public from 12pm – 4pm.

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Click here for more information about the event and to reserve your VIP bride to be goody bag, packed with treats, exclusive discounts and magazines.

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every other week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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Click here to see previous Wednesday Wedding Inspiration Mood Boards

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited, supplied by What Katy Did Next

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Marquee In The Meadow: A Real Wedding In Derbyshire – Francesca & Ivan

November 19th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding in Yorkshire by Andy Hook Photography

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After a weekend off celebrating two years in business (lets wait till The Brides Up North Christmas Party for that!) indulging in a bit of shopping with the girls, catching up on emails and invoicing and a really rather good pub lunch at our soon to be local, I’m diving back into the Real Wedding pretty headfirst.

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Monday is off to a fabulous start with this beautiful big day in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, sent to me by real bride and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Francesca of the gorgeous bridal boutique Choola in Sheffield and talented Andy Hook Photography

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I always love to see how industry colleagues style their own celebrations, and Francesca and Ivan’s perfectly pastel country meadow wedding certainly doesn’t disappoint on ooh factor (not least because of their cute ring bearers – watch out for them).  Let’s hear from the lady herself. 

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Yorkshire Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Choola Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Pastel Wedding by Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Francesca says:  We got engaged (unofficially) at The British Bridal Exhibition in March 2011! I guess there couldn’t be a more perfect place with us owning a bridal boutique!   Ivan took me completely by surprise but as he wanted my parent’s permission first we had to keep it secret until a few days later when he had been to see my parents. He then officially proposed in May with a beautiful ring made especially from my black pearl given to me for my 18th birthday set with two stunning diamonds!

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Andy Hook Photography

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We tied the knot on 16th June 2012 at St James Church, Norton, Sheffield followed by a “Marquee in the Meadow” reception behind my in-laws’ home in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

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The church holds many memories for me so there was no where else we could have married! It is a beautiful church and having attended since being a little girl, I knew I would feel totally at ease walking down aisle there.

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We wanted to have a marquee reception as we didn’t want anything too formal and wanted a setting completely unique to us where no one had been before. It meant we could put our own stamp on it and there wouldn’t be any restrictions.  Our family is very relaxed and often quite spontaneous so having the marquee gave us the freedom to just let the day evolve, without any time restrictions or rules!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We wanted the wedding to have that thrown together kind of look. I love anything classic but quirky so that’s what we went for: relaxed country glamour.   We chose several colours to work with:  lemon, pale pink, mint green, lavender and powder blue. This was reflected in the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers.

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Andy Hook Photography

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I was very spoiled and had a beautiful couture gown made for me by the very talented Sharon Bowen Haute Couture. I have always loved Sharon’s collections and knew that she would be the only person to make my dress. Having previously designed for Dior and Chloe I knew I was in safe hands!

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Sharon and I designed the dress together and it was perfect. It was made from duchesse satin, tulle, beaded lace and hand stitched silk flowers. The jacket was made from matching hand beaded lace.

I wanted a dress that was very “me”. It had to be quirky but still classic enough to stand the test of time.

I have to admit that I did feel a bit of pressure to wear something spectacular! As the owner of a bridal boutique, I was constantly being asked what I was going to wear so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations!

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My something old was my sister’s veil. We re-made it to create a “frouf” as we affectionately called it! This created volume before the train of the veil.  My something new was my dress and my fabulous Aruna Seth shoes!  My something borrowed was my best friends gorgeous Chanel earrings and my something blue was a ribbon stitched into my gown.  As well as my veil, I also wore a diamante seahorse hairclip in my hair. I absolutely love seahorses and knew I would have to involve them somewhere!

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I carried the most stunning bouquet made mostly from peonies – my favourite flower – along with roses, lavender, rosemary and a whole host of other beautiful flowers by Petalis, Sheffield. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The bridesmaids dresses were by Alvina Valenta and Jim Hjelm.  I wanted each of the girls to wear a different dress in a different colour and it was one of the easiest shopping trips ever! They all loved their gowns and I think it took less than an hour for all five of them to try on, decide and order.  They then all wore fabulous heels by Paradox London all dyed to match their dresses individually. I gave them each a silver bracelet to wear on the day as well as a candle in the scent used for the wedding to remind them of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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The groomsmen all wore morning suits from Dapper Suits in charcoal and black with double breasted waistcoats. They wore soft dove grey and ivory and each chose their own tie. It was great to see a mixture of spots, stripes and colour.  Ivan and the best man Alisdaire wore sand coloured linen double breasted waistcoats. They all looked very handsome!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Ivan arrived at the church in a vintage Austin Healey that belongs to his father. His dad spent months restoring the car so we could use it for the wedding! Ivan’s mum tied coloured ribbons to the handles and made a “Just Married” sign complete with shining tin cans. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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During the service, Ivan surprised me by having our dogs as ring bearers! He pretended to have forgotten the rings and then whistled and our Jack Russell came scampering down the ails with the ring tied to a bow! A second whistle and our Springer spaniel came running down the aisle with the other ring! Fabulous!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Saying my vows and marrying my best friend was so overwhelming I could have burst with happiness. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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When we came out of the church, the ushers made a shotgun arch and as Ivan and I walked through, they all fired confetti from their shotguns!  Ivan runs a shoot and we were keen for our day to really reflect us and what is special to us, so having our dogs involved in our ceremony and shotguns firing confetti was just perfect for us. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the rain had stopped, the best man surprised us by having access to some private land behind Hassop Hall. This meant we could get some spectacular photos overlooking the valley sitting on the back of the Austin Healy. Just magical! Ivan and I then sped off in the car around Bakewell with the “just married” sign flapping in the wind and tin cans rattling along the road! It was a wonderful moment that will never leave me. 

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Once we arrived at the marquee (now back in the Mercedes to save the Austin Healey from being wrecked!) we were greeted by a red tractor to tow us onto the field! The heavy rain has made the lane and field impassable so cue tractor and toe rope and bride and groom arrived safely at the marquee much to the amusement and delight of our guests. I don’t think many brides arrive being dragged by a tractor but yet again it just added to the fun of the day!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We only used little decoration in the marquee (Ascot Marquees) as we wanted the gorgeous flowers to really stand out. Some bunting, lanterns, candles and some hanging hearts and birds completed the look. We also had a Bride and Groom Scarecrow to greet our guests in the entrance to the marquee that Ivan had spent hours making the night before the wedding in the pouring rain. They were fantastic though and added to the country feel of the day. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a gorgeous cake made for us by Anna of HunkyDory Cakes in Sheffield. We gave her a rough brief but then left her to her own devices and the result was amazing. We were very laid back about all aspects of our wedding and I loved walking into the marquee and having the cake and flowers as a surprise. The cake was four tiers made of fruit, chocolate, lemon and mocha. Delicious!

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The rest of the catering was done by Big On Taste near Derby.

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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We had a jazz band (The Bungalow Band) to play for the guests on arrival at the marquee. They were so good that the guests were dancing straight away! We sadly only caught the end of them as we were away having our photographs taken (and having a drink in the pub).  We then had a live band for the evening called Twice Around and Mick, the drummer and family friend also DJ’d for us.  The dance floor was packed all night!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Andy Hook Photography

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After the wedding we had a couple of days in the Lake District staying at Candlewyck Barn arranged for us by the best man. We could only take a couple of days off though as we had so many brides marrying this summer that we had to get back to the shop! We are planning to take our “honeymoon proper” this Christmas though. 

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Andy Hook Photography

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I have two tips for other Brides Up North, one practical and the other profound!

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The first, is if you can, have a wedding planner. Lisa Hilliard was fantastic and as it was a marquee reception, having someone there to oversee all the logistics was very reassuring. She was fantastic on the day and really enabled everyone to relax and enjoy the day. 

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The second tip is don’t over-think things and don’t worry!  All that matters is that you get to marry your soul mate! It’s very easy to get wrapped up in small details or worrying about what may or may not be. Ultimately it’s the marriage that matters with the day simply being the start of a fantastic journey so don’t sweat the small things.  With my husband and I having had our fair share of tragedy, we have learnt that life is short and very precious. Put things into perspective and make the most of what really matters.  The day comes and goes so quickly that my advice is to enjoy every minute of the planning and the day, whilst it may be a cliché it really is the best day of your life, so relax, don’t stress, and enjoy!

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Andy Hook Photography

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Congratulations Francesca & Ivan!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how. 

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  – Images © 2012 Andy Hook Photography

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Wednesday Wedding Inspiration: Purely Pastel

October 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Purely Pastel Wedding Inspiration

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1. Pastel Bouquet 2. Justin Alexander Gown 3. Floral Cupcakes 4. Lace Peep Toes 5. Pastel Pom Poms 6. Lace Jam Jar Display 7. Criss Cross Chiffon Dress 8. Table Decor 9. Jenny Packham Headpiece 10. Burlap & Lace Chair Bows

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Have you missed her?  Our regular guest blogger Katy of What Katy Did Next is back with a beautiful burst of purely pastel wedding inspiration.  Lap up the lovely!

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Katy says: This week’s request comes from an old school friend who is due to be married in March. Hannah asked me for a bit of help putting her wedding style into a mood board, filled with her favourite things – lace, pastel colours & vintage style. Hopefully I have incorporated these things into a fabulously fresh wedding inspiration collection for Hannah’s Spring wedding.

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The bride and her bridesmaids are hoping to get hands on with the wedding decor so I’ve made sure there are plenty of easy DIY touches within the board. Jam jars are so versatile at weddings and Hannah plans to decorate and use them as tea light holders for a romantic cosy atmosphere. Decorate with lace, ribbon, twine or for a more modern display spray paint or even blackboard paint to double as table numbers. If you are having a small intimate affair they could also double as place names. Fill them with flowers or pretty bonbons and marshmallows as part of your centrepieces.

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The pastel colours can spread through your whole wedding. I have used them in almost everything – bridesmaids, bouquet, cakes, and very easy to DIY tissue pom poms – very popular this year! String a few up together to create a fabulous photobooth backdrop for your guests and have them take polaroids as part of a guestbook.
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My favourite part of the board? The stunning combination of the Justin Alexander gown with a pretty decorative headpiece to compliment. the back of the dress is amazing and doesn’t need to hide under a veil.

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every other week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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Click here to see previous Wednesday Wedding Inspiration Mood Boards

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2012 as credited, supplied by What Katy Did Next

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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It’s Here – The Brides Up North Tweet Up North East PLUS Wednesday Wed-spiration: Pretty Pastels

May 9th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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BUN Tweet Ups 2012.

It’s here!  The very first Brides Up North Tweet Up with Wedding Ideas Magazine of the season!  As well as running fabulous events for brides to be, I also like to find a way to say thank you to my wedding industry colleagues for their support throughout the year and these little parties are my way of doing it. 

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I’ve got a great team on hand today as we hit the North East – including the amazing Simply Bows & Chair Covers, The Finishing Touch Company, Baked Cupcakery, Love Is Sweet Company, Limelight Photobooth Hire, Mandy Charlton, Glen Roughhead, Little Bundles and TVV Productions – working to transform the already gorgeous As You Like It in Jesmond into a funky indoor festival setting, with some treats and surprises along the way.  Official photographs and video coming soon!

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My guest list is now full, so if you are a wedding industry professional in the North East who would like to attend this evening and who has not already registered please email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk.  I will try my very hardest to squeeze you in!

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In the meantime, let’s have a bit of Wednesday Wed-spiration, shall we not?

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This one is especially for my friend Claire, who has been looking for pretty pastel inspiration with an ever so slight vintage edge for her Summer wedding next June.

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.Pastel Wedding Inspiration

1 Pastel Ball Cake 2 Hand Tied Bouquet  3 French Macaroons  4 Pale Blue Bridesmaids 5 Vintage Bouquet  6 Pale Petticoats  7 Seating Chart  8 Bridesmaids  9 Tiny Desserts  10 Blooming Bouquet 11 Pearly Centre Piece  12 Peach Shoes

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I hope this gives you plenty of food for thought Ms Wilson!

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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  – Images © 2012 Brides Up North/ as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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