November 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Is there a grander setting for a wedding than a castle? We think not having feasted our eyes on the pics from today’s real wedding.
Having secured their dream venue, Tom and Stef let their surroundings do the talking, just adding a few simple touches in elegant vintage décor whilst working around their timeless blue colour scheme.
The floral arrangements are particularly stunning, and we love the maids’ vibrant cobalt dresses too!
With images by Kate Gosney Photography.
stef says: We got engaged in Las Vegas. It was the second day at the end of a night out. Tom got down on one knee and produced the most amazing ring!
We got married on 28th August, which was the Bank Holiday weekend, giving people more time to recover. Chiddingstone Castle was our chosen venue. My dad got married there and I had visited as a child so it felt special to me.
We didn’t have a theme as such, instead just choosing to let the beautiful venue do the talking and making choices that were sensitive to that. Our colour scheme was different tones of blues as it’s my favourite colour and I think it’s timeless too.
November 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
If you’re craving some pretty on this Monday morning then you’ve come to the right place, as today we’re sharing Hayley and Ross’ gorgeous celebration, complete with pastel wedding colours and handpicked style blooms.
As well as the setting being stunning, so too are the bride and groom with Ross opting for a slightly unusual bottle green suit and Hayley wearing a slim-line vintage style gown with exquisite detailing.
Above all we love that the day is beautifully styled but has a very chilled out vibe to it too – well until the reception that is when it appears some rather competitive moves went down on the dancefloor!
With images by Knot Just Pics.
hayley says: We had been together for eight years and were travelling around Australia and New Zealand visiting family and friends when we got engaged. Ross’ mum lives in New Zealand and she planned a big trip for Ross, myself, her and her husband around the South Island. We stayed in lots of small out of the way places, one of which was called ‘Barb’s Bach’ in the Marlborough Sounds (A bach is a holiday cottage). It was a fair drive from anywhere so really peaceful and remote. Ross and I were sleeping in a ‘sleep out’ which is essentially a spare bedroom down a walkway in the garden. Ross is not an early riser so I was getting suspicious of him getting up so early to make coffee in the mornings. Little did I know that these were failed attempts to get the ring from his mother’s handbag where it was safely hidden! Eventually he got down on one knee next to the bed and proposed. It was a total shock, having been together for so long, I just did not see it coming!
Our wedding date was slap bang in the middle of the school summer holidays as I am a primary school teacher. I needed both time to sort things out and then time to go on a honeymoon before school started again.
Ross is from South Africa, I’m from Shropshire and we live in London, so no matter where we got married, people would have to travel from somewhere! In the end, we decided on Shropshire as it was the most affordable option for people having to travel. It is also one of the most beautiful, unspoilt places in the UK (although I may be a little biased!). Our venue was somewhere that I had often been to with my family for special occasion dinners although it took us ages to think of it as a wedding venue. We had been looking for places with accommodation and had no luck. During a family Sunday lunch we had a quick look around The Mytton and Mermaid Hotel and it was pretty perfect! Coincidentally my grandfather had booked my parents a room there on their wedding night but there was a mix up with the booking and they didn’t stay. Thankfully my parents were able to get over it – 36 years later!
October 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Determined not to get bogged down or stressed out when planning their wedding in York, today’s bride and groom quickly adopted a no pressure approach to their big day, choosing to keep things simple with celebrations that were laidback but good fun.
Taking place at York’s Churchill Hotel, self-confessed foodies Hayley and Andy prioritised food, drink and entertainment to make sure all guests were well fed, watered (well beer’ed) and in the mood for a good time.
Sounds like a dream wedding to us!
With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.
hayley says: We were in Secrets Maroma, Mexico when we got engaged. After our meal and a few cocktails we were walking back to our room and Andy suggested we go and sit on the beach for a bit. We were lying across two loungers, looking up at the stars when Andy got down on one knee…The first thing I said was ‘be careful, those are your best jeans’!
We set the date for 6th June 2015. I wanted a sporting chance of having some nice weather and wanted to avoid school holidays, also living in York, I wanted to avoid horse racing weekends. The 6th of the 6th is a memorable date and it’s a nice time of year for us to celebrate our anniversary.
Our chosen venue was the Churchill Hotel in Bootham, York. We looked at about ten venues and this ticked the majority of our requirements. It is close to York city centre, so those travelling from far away could stay in the city and enjoy some time there. Decor wise the venue was ‘understated cool’. The room for the ceremony had a huge bay window and dramatic thundercloud wallpaper. We are both big foodies so it was important that we had delicious food on the day. The food in the restaurant is quality and the bar is well stocked with unusual beers. They even let our friends bring their own beer and serve it at the bar! The staff were relaxed, easy going and were on board with us not having a formal wedding.
We didn’t have a theme, unless you count our ‘no pressure’ approach as a theme! I wanted to keep things as simple and informal as possible and I just wanted every guest to feel comfortable and have fun. I was very keen to host the whole day in one place to keep things running smoothly with no boring bits for anyone.
In terms of colour I wanted lots of green. For a while I toyed with having a forest green wedding dress, but that didn’t fit in with the ‘no pressure’ theme! We had green drapes in the marque and primarily green in the flowers, apart from touches of white. We both love the outdoors and we wanted to bring a bit of a woodland to the colours if we could.
We asked our good friend and talented designer Beci, of Think Good Do Weddings, to come up with bespoke invites that fitted the theme and we loved them. She also designed the table settings and place cards.
After much searching in the dress shops in York, I actually went back to my home village in Lancashire to buy my dress. It was my mum who suggested I try Gypsophila Bridal Wear in Rossendale. I wasn’t hopeful and was a bit grumpy the day I went as I had found all the other shopping trips stressful! I went in there saying I wanted my shoulders covered, no sparkles and no train – I bought the opposite! My dress had a tight corseted waist which made it feel very secure and comfortable and it just made me feel good about myself. I had no idea what dress I was going in there to buy, but that one made me feel special.
On the day of the wedding my hair was done by Holly from Pure Hairdressing, Grape Lane, York, who I would definitely recommend – she also did my mum’s hair at very short notice that morning and joined in the fun with us! A makeup artist called Marci did my makeup and she was incredible. I don’t often wear much makeup and I was very late in arranging makeup for the day, but she got it just right.
We had three bridesmaids, who all wore matching dresses from BHS. I had no idea they sold bridesmaid dresses, but after it felt like we had exhausted all other options, we found these dresses that suited everyone and were really pretty.
I decided to stay over in the bridal suite the night before, on my own. Lots of guests were staying at the hotel the night before so I had a night cap with my close family and friends and then went up to bed. I slept solidly for eight hours and woke up to a cooked breakfast in my room!
Rachel from Rachel Joyce Photography captured our day. We have been close friends since we met at secondary school aged 11. A few years ago, Rachel decided to turn a hobby into a career and is now a full time wedding photographer. After looking at her work, I was so happy to have her as our photographer and it was an added bonus to have another close friend with me on the day.
Going along with our ‘no pressure’ theme I left the design and flower choices for the wedding up to my florist. I wanted something wild and natural so the bouquet contained lots of ivy and also herbs such as dill, rosemary and mint. The lovely florist at Just To Say in York, helped me with the flowers, at very short notice as well.
Andy had a colourful buttonhole made of chilli peppers, again to represent our love of food! My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet and the groom, fathers, best man, brother and grandfather wore button holes, which were made of a chilli and lemongrass.
The table flowers were from Busy Lizzie in Heworth, York, and the flower pots were from Waitrose.
Instead of giving out favours we put on 160 pints of free beer instead!
For our ‘wedding cake’ we had ten different layers of cheese, from Love Cheese, Gillygate, York. We had a two-hour tasting session with wine and picked the ones we liked best! So many people have told us since that they were so glad we did this! We served bacon butties late at night, so people appreciated putting a bit of brie in there.
For our wedding breakfast we had a starter choice of smoked duck terrine or twice baked blue cheese soufflé. Main was beef blade or mushroom and goats cheese pithivier for vegetarians, and pudding was raspberry Pavlova. To drink we chose Prosecco for toasting and for the first drink after the ceremony. During the meal we served pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. Basically, it’s what we like to drink! We asked for the hotel to be stocked with real ales and beer and our friends served four different kinds of their own ale.
The entertainment was the first thing we decided upon after getting engaged! We were out in Leeds one night, in a beer garden and all of a sudden a brass band walked in playing Happy by Pharrell Williams. After 20 minutes, they had people up on the tables! I asked them that night if they would play at our wedding. They are called the New York Brass Band and I couldn’t have been happier with them on the night. They kept everything informal and fun and got everyone up dancing.
Special touches on the wedding day included the centre pieces to the tables, which were made by my Dad from an oak tree, and we had a finger print tree instead of a comment book. People could press their finger print on to the picture of a leafless tree in either blue, green or yellow ink and then write their name over the top. This resulted in lots of people walking around with coloured finger tips!
We would without a doubt recommend Churchill Hotel to other brides and grooms. Our wedding was slightly unusual in that the hotel arranged for a temporary marque outside. We had 90 day guests which they accommodated easily.
It’s tough to say what my favourite part of the wedding was. Getting ready in the morning with some of my favourite people in the world was really special, and also getting to see Andy for the first time. Sitting down at the meal and seeing friends and family who have never met before laughing and having fun was great too – as was dancing until the lights came on!
Following the wedding we went on honeymoon to Italy. We started in Naples for three days, then Sorento for a week and then over to the east coast in Puglia for a week. It was fantastic. Beautiful food and scenery. Plenty to do in Naples and Sorrento and then a week of complete luxury and relaxation in the Hotel Don Ferrante in Monopoli, Puglia.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to worry about getting around to speak to everyone on the day. There were lots of people I only managed to smile at! Everybody understands what it’s like; nobody is expecting you to allocate time to them.
Also, if you find that you are getting anxious or stressed by any part of the wedding planning, just ask if it’s really necessary. We kept things simple wherever we could because I wanted to enjoy the run up to the wedding, not be stressed by it
October 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
While we adore all the little details of a wedding that make it beautifully individual we also love to see the expressions of the bride, groom and their guests captured on camera, to get a real feel for the day.
Looking at the images of Sam and Kelly’s big day it’s clear to see that this was an emotional and upbeat wedding that was brimming with love and laugher, plus the odd tear of joy.
So not only is the setting of this wedding beautifully natural, but so too are the expressions of those involved!
kelly says: In September 2014 while we were both living in Dubai, Sam surprised me with a proposal at sunset on our boat and had booked us into a suite at the Yas Viceroy hotel. We made our way into the marina to be greeted by a huge banner saying ‘I can’t wait to make you Mrs. North’. I cried, a lot.
Sam had already checked into the suite and packed everything that I owned. He said we should keep the news private for a night so we could enjoy the evening without checking our phones and went for an incredible dinner at Cipriani.
The next day he had planned lunch. As we walked into the restaurant I’m sure my heart stopped. All of my friends were there and had known for two months about the engagement. After lots of tears and champagne we all went back to the suite for a good old party.
We chose the 17th and 18th July as the dates for our wedding weekend as it was the Eid break, which is a public holiday in the UAE, allowing all of our friends to travel to the UK for the wedding.
We have family and friends from around the world and so we needed a venue that could accommodate around 100 people in the same place. The hunt began in Cheshire and Yorkshire as that’s where we’re both originally from. We quickly realised that we wanted an outdoor space and would pray for sunshine on the day. Sam discovered Natural Retreats and the decision was made instantly – 5 star accommodation in a woodland retreat was exactly what we wanted.
Given the beautiful natural surroundings we wanted to keep everything very simple and elegant, so the general theme was rural elegance. We also chose to keep everything in neutral in terms of the colour scheme to let the countryside speak for itself. We had lots of white flowers and greenery, with the bridal party in neutral tones.
When it came to my wedding dress I tried on a few dresses to see what style suited me and quickly fell in love with the form fitting Galia Lahav and Inbal Dror pieces. I found a designer, Anne Rashid, in Dubai who helped create the perfect dress for me. Hand beaded pearls for the strapless corset top, a tight fitting skirt with a long train for the daytime, and a second skirt which flared and was easy to dance in for the evening.
The bridesmaids were given a neutral colour palette to choose their dresses from. Some of the girls chose to have them tailored by my wedding dress designer and others got theirs from Needle and Lace.
Our photographer was Paul Liddement, who we discovered after looking through quite a few online portfolios and felt instantly drawn to his style which is romantic and natural – exactly what we wanted. Looking through his photos made us feel like we were witnesses to special moments in time, rather than looking at posed shots.
Paul was fantastic on the day. He blended in with our guests, he provided direction, managed the shots, and was quick and efficient. Initially we were concerned the photos would look too staged or posed and would take up too much time from the day but Paul made us feel relaxed and the entire bridal party had fun. Paul was excellent overall and we’d recommend him to anyone getting married. He was creative and really listened to what we wanted to achieve.
Our ceremony and reception were all in the same location so we didn’t need transport, however we did drive off in Sam’s TVR T350 sports car.
Our amazing florist, Alice, from Forage & Blossom, took our brief of white flowers and created beautiful bouquets, table settings and an archway from delphinium, larkspur, sweet peas, ammi, astrantia, norma jean rose, vendela spray rose and Annabel hydrangea, to name a few.
All of our stationery was done by my lovely friend Maria Gedeon, who designed everything with a logo for our initials and calligraphy for everything else.
We like to work hard and party harder so we wanted our wedding to have a little bit of fun injected into the evening and so our favours were bottles of Jägermeister.
Our beautiful cake was made by Sam’s mother, Fiona, who created a delicious masterpiece. The cake was decorated by our florist.
Sam found our entertainment, a band called The Hoops, and booked them before we’d even found our venue! They were fantastic and played a mixture of hits and old time classics. The dance floor was full all night.
We added a few special touches to the wedding to make it all the more memorable which included making a welcome book featuring photos of all of the guests so people could get to know each other. Our table plan was a giant hedge with Polaroid pictures hung on string which was a great talking point as we had sourced the funniest pictures of each person.
We rented a golf buggy for guests to get around on and decorated it with ribbon and flowers. We also made our flower chandeliers by painting some wagon wheels white and hanging white wisteria from them. For the evening we added some glow sticks, blow up musical instruments and confetti canons to the dancefloor.
Natural Retreats is beautiful and we would recommend it to other couples. The view from the ceremony deck was spectacular and the lodges housed all of the guests and were luxurious yet homely.
Looking back at the wedding there were so many fantastic moments; from my mum holding my hand as we came over the hill and could see all of the guests on the ceremony deck, to seeing Sam at the end of the aisle. Sam seeing me walk down the aisle to an acoustic version of Here Comes the Sun was very special and partying all night with our friends is something we’ll always remember.
For our honeymoon we jetted off to the Lux Resort in the Maldives for some much needed R&R!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember that teamwork is key to planning a wedding. We tried to split responsibilities and included each other in any decisions. Set up a joint email account and don’t leave everything until the last minute. Sam should have practiced tying his bow tie before the big day!
July 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though straying from tradition, we’ve often mentioned on the blog how short wedding dresses can be the perfect option for certain types of weddings, including those that take place in the city centre. A hitched-up hemline means it’s easier for brides tying the knot in an urban location to get around as they move between venues either on foot, or in this case by cab, without the need to manoeuvre an awkward meringue.
For her pretty Liverpool wedding, bride Rhia chose a stunning tea length dress from House of Mooshki, which also served as her ‘something blue’. Meanwhile to bring the rest of their big day together Rhia and Stew simply chose bits and pieces they liked while keeping in mind their purple and turquoise colour scheme.
The result is an incredibly well styled wedding, from the gorgeous attire to the fabulous blooms and that beautifully decorated cheese cake. Excellent work guys!
With images by Dan Hough Photography.
rhia says: We got engaged in 2013 on my birthday, 31st January. Stew proposed just before we were heading out for a special birthday meal, just the two of us. He gave me a card he had made himself – it said ‘marry me’ on the front, and my engagement ring was fastened inside with a ribbon.
Our wedding was on 15th February 2015. We wanted a winter wedding and liked the fact that the date would be easy to remember: 15.02.15.
We got married at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool as we wanted somewhere in the city centre. Once we had seen its beautiful Concert Room, we knew that was the venue for us. Our reception was held at Oh Me Oh My, also in the city centre.
There was no wedding theme as such, we just picked things we liked and wanted things to be colourful and fun. The colour scheme was easy to decide on – purple and turquoise – my favourite colours!
I chose a tea length dress in duck egg blue, with an ivory overlay. It was from House of Mooshki. When I got engaged I couldn’t picture myself in a traditional dress and didn’t want anything too over-the-top. I found my dress online, but didn’t think I would end up getting it. But once I had tried it on – I knew I had to have it.
My bridesmaid wore a purple dress and the best man wore a grey suit. The flower girls were kitted out in Monsoon dresses.
We decided we didn’t need special transport and instead took taxis around Liverpool. It was kind of cool arriving at my wedding in a black cab!
Dan Hough was our photographer and he was amazing. He was very friendly – lots of our guests commented on that. He made sure we got some fabulous shots but fitted in around us. He was very patient as we were caught up with everything going on and long photo sessions were not a priority, but somehow Dan still managed to really capture the whole day perfectly. We would definitely recommend him – he was fab!
My flowers were purple. They were created by Blossom and Dill. I left it quite late to sort out and being the day after Valentine’s lots of florists were charging hefty fees. Sophie from Blossom and Dill did an amazing job – my flowers were absolutely beautiful and loads of people complemented them.
Sophie also created jam jar arrangements of flowers to decorate our tables – perfect for the pretty and relaxed look we were going for. We had lots of candles and rainbow-coloured bunting to brighten everything up.
Stew made all our wedding stationary, which had a quirky look to it – almost like a child’s party invitation with googly eyes. I loved them!
We didn’t really have favours, though we did screen print origami paper with our names and the wedding date. Guests were given instructions to make paper cranes (quite tricky origami) we made a few examples to help people along.
We decided to have a cheese cake from Liverpool Cheese Company. We didn’t fancy more sweet stuff after dessert and the cheese went down a storm with our homemade chutneys.
For the wedding breakfast we decided on a relaxed sharing menu – one of Oh Me Oh My’s specialities. We had a mezze starter, and then sharing bowls of stew for the main, followed up by a trio of desserts.
To keep guests entertained, we hired a band recommended by Oh Me Oh My called New Power Soul Club. We had seen them setting up and doing sound checks at one of our meetings there. They were brilliant and had all our guests up dancing.
We decided to make a weekend of our celebration, inviting family and friends to join us for dinner and drinks the day before the wedding. We were really glad we did this as it was brilliant to catch up with everyone, and once we had left our house the day before, that was the end of feeling stressed and the start of having fun.
We would definitely recommend Oh Me Oh My to other wedding couples. It looked fantastic, and the staff looked after every last little thing all day, ensuring everything went smoothly. To top it off, we were able to go up on the roof and enjoy fab views, as well as sneaking in another photo opportunity.
I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – I loved all of it! In fact the whole weekend was amazing!
Following the wedding we had a few days in the Lake District and Scotland, staying in some lovely hotels. We are booked to go to Brazil on our main honeymoon this summer and can’t wait!
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to prioritise the bits that are most important to you and just do what you want to – don’t feel tied down by other people’s expectations. We just wanted a big party with our friends and family and we loved everything about our day.
June 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
We just adore this small but perfectly formed wedding carefully put together by today’s bride and groom.
Rather than caving in to ‘the norm’, Hannah and Callum did things their own way, and on their own budget, to create the intimate wedding day that they desired with their very nearest and dearest.
The styling and setting are gorgeous and we love that the bride and groom went down their own independent routes when it came to their wedding attire; Callum in his traditional Scottish dress and Hannah in her short Tory Burch dress, complete with a fabulous Eugenia Kim hair bow! The girl’s got style!
With images by Firsthand Photography.
hannah says: We had been talking about getting married for a while, then one evening in October 2014 we said “let’s do it!”
We didn’t want a long engagement so we chose September 2015 to get married. We had a budget to stick to, so picking Tuesday 9th rather than a weekend allowed us to save on costs without compromising on our venue.
I wanted to get married at Langar Hall in Nottingham as I knew that it would be perfect for our intimate and informal wedding. Callum had never been before so we went for lunch one Saturday and at 5pm we had to tear ourselves away. That sealed it. We planned to marry there with 12 guests, and have a larger reception party elsewhere for family and friends the following Saturday. We married at 3pm in the Indian Room, with dinner in the Garden Room at 5pm and most of our guests stayed overnight.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but we wanted to incorporate certain visual elements – an eclectic mix of traditional and modern, such as neon script on our invites and our pop art cake topper, which seemed suited to Langar Hall. It was also important to reference our shared Scottish heritage.
We didn’t want a matchy-matchy colour scheme, but Callum’s tartan gave us a starting point and a palette emerged. Somehow everything coordinated with the strong, sherbet-y colours of my bouquet, offset by creams and greens.
I knew that a traditional dress wasn’t for me. My mum and I took a trip to London and I found my dress in Tory Burch at Selfridges. The short length was modern but the textural fabric made it special – I felt like a bride. A few weeks later I bought shoes and a clutch but the ultimate finishing touch was my hair bow from Eugenia Kim at Fenwick Bond Street.
I did my own make-up, but had a lesson with the girls at Bobbi Brown in John Lewis in Nottingham, who gave great advice. My regular hairdresser, Anna Jones at Solos Nottingham did my hair as she always gets it right.
There was never any doubt that Callum would wear traditional Scottish dress, including a custom-made kilt in McNab tartan (a gift from his brother) – plus Paul Smith brogues. Callum was supported by his brother Aly as best man, and father who both wore Scottish dress.
I was supported by my friend Mhairi who wore a Whistles dress in blue.
Jack from Firsthand Photography took our photos. A friend had noticed that whenever she saw nice wedding pictures on Facebook, Jack was responsible. Her reportage style and informal groups were just what we wanted – and she’s Scottish! She captured our day perfectly.
For my wedding flowers I worked with Vaas who created my mixed bouquet of heritage roses, dahlias, eryngium, berries and mint.
My mum made our cake and we added a topper from Miss Cake at Not on the High Street. It was a traditional fruitcake with marzipan and icing and there were a lot of prototypes and taste tests which, went down well in the office! The cake stand was by Jansen & Co.
Luckily as there were just 14 of us, we were able to choose from the menu at Langar Hall so everyone could have the food that they wanted. 4
Our parents prepared a couple of surprises for us on the day. We were given a photobook titled, ‘Callum & Hannah – The Early Years’, featuring corresponding photos from our childhood. We also received a letter from the McNab chief, welcoming me to the clan, and I was given a silver brooch featuring the crest by my new in-laws.
The Nottingham-based jeweller Loree Bologna designed and made all of our rings. It was fantastic to find someone locally who understood exactly what we wanted.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Langar Hall – a beautiful place, with fantastic food in a great setting. Everything is done properly, but with ease and a lack of stuffiness. Avishek guided us through the planning and tailored the day to our individual needs.
My favourite moment of the day was walking out of the Indian room, looking at Callum and saying “we did it!” There was a glass of champagne waiting for us and we stood and greeted all of our guests.
For our honeymoon we took a mini tour of Scotland – first stop Killin, home of the McNab clan. Then we spent two nights in Stonefield castle in Argyll, where my grandparents come from, before finishing off in Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to invest in a good photographer. It was important for us to stick to our budget, so we had a strong set of priorities. Although it can seem expensive, the right photographer is worth every penny. The images of our day will give us, our family and friends a great deal of pleasure for years to come.
bobbi brown, derbyshire wedding, eugenia kim, fenwick bond street, firsthand photography, jansen and co, john lewis, langar hall, loree bologna, marby and elm, miss cake, nottingham wedding, paul smith, quill london, real wedding, selfridges, small wedding, tory burch, uk wedding blog, vass, whistles
Subscribe to receive Brides Up North e-shots, our newletters and notifications of events, giveaways and offers
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.