Charlotte Balbier

something blue. charlotte balbier for a beautifully styled wedding in the north west – sophie & andrew

April 13th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (36)

Here at Brides Up North we’re lucky to receive so many incredibly styled weddings and today’s is one that would come close to the top of the pile.

Art teacher Sophie clearly has an eye for detail as she combined a cool blue colour palette with Scottish touches and her favourite fabrics to produce one heck of a gorgeous wedding.

Gals, you can pick up plenty of inspiration here for the wedding party’s attire, venue styling and special touches.

Paper and pens at the ready!

With images by Spencer Photography.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (39)

sophie says: We got engaged on the 4th September 2013 at Lytham Windmill. It was the last day of the summer holidays (I’m an art teacher) and we decided we’d go out for a meal, so Andrew booked an Indian we like in Lytham. A lovely meal and lots of hand holding we decided we would walk off the meal a little. It was a beautifully clear night with stars everywhere and we wandered along the front and walked right up to the front of the windmill for the best view of the estuary over to the twinkling lights of Southport in the distance. I turned to go down the stairs saying we should probably get home when Andrew just said “wait Soph” and I turned to see him on one knee with an open ring box “will you marry me?” I had always thought I would be so confident in my answer but I could only whisper the quietest “yes” behind the biggest smile.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (4)

We booked our wedding for the 18th October, we both love autumn and had originally thought we’d go for the first weekend of the school holiday, however everywhere we liked was either booked or closed! Then the venue that we chose in the end – Charnock Farm – had the weekend before free and after a quick discussion – could we cope going straight back to work on the Monday? We decided to go for it!

We were married at St. Michael’s Church in Kirkham, my church since I was a toddler. Not only is it a special place for me as it holds many happy memories but for a local parish church it is just utterly stunning. A grand entrance and long, dramatic aisle. What more could a girl need?

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (2)

There were a few little themes running through our day, the main I guess ‘buttons, bobbins and Liberty fabrics’, from the moment we set our date I started collecting and buying up hundreds of wooden bobbins. As well as being an art teacher I’m a textile designer and have a little obsession with buttons. From being pretty young I have adored Liberty and everything it stands for and love working with their fabrics. Lodden is one of my all-time favourites, this print was at the centre of many fabric elements at our wedding.

Our colour scheme was blues – every single one of them! Weddings are so often all about the bride, but blue is Andrew’s favourite colour and is a nod to the traditional rhyme ‘something old, something new….’

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (15)

I knew I wanted a vintage inspired dress, a nod to the 50s and Grace Kelly. With a pile of bridal magazines and Pinterest I quickly knew that Charlotte Balbier was the designer for me – and more importantly that Constance was almost definitely the dress, but I really wanted lace sleeves! I saw an advert for The White Closet in one of the magazines and they had a meet the designer night quickly after our engagement so I booked myself and one of my bridesmaids in. The White Closet is just gorgeous, I was in love. When asked if I had a particular dress in mind by Eve she made sure that the next changes included Constance, the buttons from the top to bottom of the train were beautiful, I just knew and I hadn’t even tried it on. It was as if Charlotte had been in my head when she designed the dress. I was able to chat with Charlotte on the night and discuss my ideas for extra sleeves, luckily I didn’t offend her. I booked myself in a few weeks later with my mum. I only tried on Constance.

At my first fitting with the help of The White Closet ladies I was also able to design a lace jacket to wear with my dress so I had sleeves, it dipped into a V at the back just as Charlotte’s own wedding dress had. I felt so beautiful in my dress; I didn’t want to take it off!

I also wore a simple ivory cathedral length veil and Rachel Simpson Cora ivory suede kitten heels. My youngest sister Izi made me a garter with fabric and buttons that all had little meanings, it was so very thoughtful.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (22)

Andrew knew he wanted a grey three piece suit but no tails. However when the boys went to have a look and try on he changed his mind. This was meant to be a secret but his brother and best man Scott told me by accident! So the suits were hired from Greenwoods but he wore a handmade Lodden tana lawn tie and matching pocket square, teamed on the day with blue spotty Paul Smith socks and dark brown brogue style shoes.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (26)

The bridesmaids wore floor length navy In One Clothing dresses their own way, with Izi and Laura wearing Agnes and Norman navy suede heels and Hannah in Rachel Simpson ivory satin sling-backs. Hannah, my middle sister, is wearing them for her own wedding in February.

The groomsmen all wore the same suit as Andrew but their ties and pocket squares were in Betsy print tana lawn.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (34)

Andrew and I have a mutual love of VWs so it had to be a camper van for our transport. We used Posh Pampa Campas and I travelled from home to church in Coco, a silver grey split screen, then we travelled from church to on reception via Lytham.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (38)

We found photography one of the more difficult things to pick, but through suggestions from different people and a few meetings we met Joanne Spencer of Spencer Photography for a quick drink and we could have talked for hours. Just totally on the same creative wavelength as us and her photos are just stunning. There is something in the colour that just captivates me. We had great fun on a very, windy and cold day on Morecombe front for our engagement shoot and we both felt totally at ease in Jo’s company. On the day Jo and her husband Scott were amazing, there when we needed them but not pushy as we had witnessed at other weddings. Their style suited ours as we didn’t want lots of posed shots, a natural documenting of our day and all the little details we had worked hard to include.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (35)

I carried a hand-tied bouquet of white roses, thistles, myrtle and rosemary mixed in with other bits of greenery. I wanted elegant and timeless and that is exactly what we got from Margaret Mason in Preston. Half of my family are Scottish so not only are some thistles blue (to fit the colour scheme) but they’re also the national flower of Scotland, another of our subtle mini themes.

At church we had our own little flower festival, and the church flower ladies led by Christine Lever took my breath away with their work and attention to detail. All of the ladies have practically known me my whole life so it was very special that they were able to do this for our wedding day. Stunning arrangements and an archway in ivories and foliage.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (62)

We had a combination of flowers and decorations we made ourselves at the venue. On the top table a traditional long and low arrangement with white roses, thistles, rosemary, pussy willow, gypsophila and other beautiful blue flowers. Then on the guest tables Andrew and I, with the help of a friend, had made our own bobbins on top of which posies of the same floral combinations sat and then tall slim vases filled with vintage bobbins also with a posy on top. Spare bobbins and buttons were dotted around the tables too. We had made loads of blue candles and decorated them with ribbons and ceramic buttons.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (50)

Our wedding venue was a barn with stunning exposed beams, from these Andrew and his groomsmen had hung blue and white paper pom-poms and white Chinese lanterns lit up with little LEDs. They did an amazing job on the morning of the wedding and they got it looking just as I had envisaged. We also hired carnival lights from The Word is Love, a huge S&A to light up the dance floor, our guests loved these and they really added something to the already gorgeous barn venue.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (40)

We did but didn’t give out favours but instead after the church service guests were invited for shortbread and fizz and a donation to WaterAid was made so that others benefited from our happiness. We only had a handful of children at the wedding but I made them each a personalised drawstring bag – using different blue fabrics and Liberty tana lawns, filled with books, games, bubbles, Lego, personalised pencils and colouring in books. The babies were given tana lawn bibs too – they went down a storm!

We changed our minds a little bit on the type of cake but in the end went for a four tiered fruit cake which my mum made for us and a sponge cake. A friend Caroline decorated our cake for us with ivory flat icing and a cascade of different blue icing buttons. It was exquisite and topped with a tiny floral topper.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (57)

Andrew and I both love music and we are quite eclectic in our tastes. But we both agreed that live music was important so we were lucky enough to be able to book The Flip Band, a three-piece on bongos, violin and bass guitar. We have seen them a few times at different venues and they didn’t let us down. They learnt Calvin Harris’ Feel so Close for our first dance, incredible! We also had DJ Gary Mills who had worked with my sister quite a lot and came highly recommended. He too was great fun and very entertaining with his costume changes! Gary gave us a CD of musical highlights from our wedding which was a lovely touch.

As a special touch our tables were named after different activity badges you can gain as a scout (they also happen to be blue), as Andrew and I met through our involvement in Scouts. We also had a homemade photo booth in the form of a giant Polaroid frame with a trunk full of different props for people to enjoy.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (56)

Our venue has a lovely outdoor seating area and because it was possibly the warmest October day ever lots of people were able to mingle outside but it did get a little cooler in the evening so I had a basket full of blankets ready for this and also a basket full of slippers for those that just had to kick off their shoes.

We would definitely recommend our venue to others – it’s warm, cosy without being small, spacious without being too big and neutral back drop which would suit many individual styles.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (51)

Other suppliers involved in our big day that we would recommend are RA Designs at The Manchester Craft & Design Centre who make bespoke engagement and wedding rings, Chloe Sinclair and Cedar Nail and Beauty in Kirkham, who did the bridal party’s make-up and Barbara Kay and Talking Heads in Wesham, who did the bridal party’s hair.

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (43)

The whole day was a whirlwind but a particularly memorable moment was when we started to exchange our vows the sun started to shine and it just burst through the church windows down onto us. Perfect. I did also love our photo shoot up at Lytham Windmill, it was time just together on our own (of a fashion) and we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing, especially when my cheek was prickled by the thistle in Andrew’s button hole!

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (42)

We went back to work the following Monday but the next week we headed off to The Lakes for our minimoon of walking, spa days, afternoon tea and just time together. We are heading to California in August for our proper honeymoon where we are going to drive from San Francisco to San Diego down the coast. We cannot wait!

a Charlotte Balbier gown for a beautiful blue wedding in the North West (c) Spencer Photography  (72)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be yourselves. Do not be swayed by what other people think, it’s your day. And make sure you have clear communication with all your suppliers so that they fully understand your vision.

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Best Of British. Paloma Blanca For A Real Wedding At Eslington Villa – Claire & Ryan

November 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Helen Russell Photography

This afternoon we are staying in the North East as we join Brides Up North reader Claire and her new husband Ryan for their classic Real Wedding inspired by British history.  Strike up the band…

Images by Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Claire says:  We got engaged on holiday in Majorca in 2011 when Ryan asked me on a cliff top overlooking a gorgeous beach and the Med. Ryan kept us standing there for ages whilst he waited for other passers-by to clear.  I was wondering why we were waiting there so long until he asked me to marry him.

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

We got married on 20th July 2013 at The Gibside Chapel and Pleasure grounds followed by Eslington Villa in Low Fell.  I always dreamed of a classic wedding. The North of England is blessed with a wealth of amazing historical venues and Gibside Chapel and surrounding Pleasure Grounds provided the perfect setting to make our dream wedding come true.

We feel Eslington Villa, Gateshead is one of the best kept secrets in the North East. The Victorian mansion house, with its fantastic gardens and Victorian décor was the ideal venue for an intimate wedding reception. We also really liked the fact Eslington Villa allowed us to give our guests the option of three choices for each course of the wedding breakfast. So we were able to send a little menu card in our invitations so each person could choose what they preferred.  We thought this was a very nice touch.

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

We chose a very classic theme “Best of British” (Georgian and Victorian). The amazing buildings, scenery, history and décor of the wedding venues we decided upon really inspired us. In the end we decided we didn’t want to be tied to a specific colour scheme, as long as everything matched the classic theme I was happy with that.

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Arriving by horse drawn carriage (North East Carriage Company) through a stunning avenue of trees towards the gorgeous Georgian chapel which was once owned by the Bowes Lyon family (the family of the Queen mother) all pre wedding nerves were gone as I felt like a character from a Jane Austen novel and arrived with a huge smile on my face to meet my lovely fiancé. The wedding service in the chapel was beautiful and was followed by drinks and canapés in the Sundial gardens and photographs in the stunning surrounding estate.

Helen Russell Photography

The dress I chose was a Paloma Blanca dress that I chose from Darcy Weddings in Morpeth in Northumberland. Ryan wore a navy blue Kenneth Cole suit, Paul Smith tie and brown Kurt Geiger brogues.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Laura Lea Boutique in Newcastle. Ryan wasn’t keen on the idea of the groomsmen all wearing the same suit as him so they all had their own individual suit.

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

In keeping with the classic Best of British theme I chose very simple, yet classical looking blue Hydrangeas (that were commonplace in Victorian gardens) with white roses and simple green foliage by Flowers By Design.  

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

0261Mr&MrsQuinn

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

We chose a very Victorian inspired cake to compliment the décor of Eslington Villa, the cake – by The Ivory Cake Company – was very different to others we’d seen but we were absolutely delighted with it.

Helen Russell Photography

Having both been huge Beatles fans for as long as we can remember the songs have really provided a soundtrack to both of our lives; so each table included an original retro 1960′s Beatles vinyl record single, and each table was named after a carefully selected Beatles classic. We sat at the table named "All you need is love".

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

For table decorations, reception flowers and favours we used 5th Avenue. 

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

We chose a great guitarist and singer called Eddie Miller who played a wide range of classic covers from the Beatles right through to Oasis. After Eddie finished with the guitars he then played a great rock and roll/ indie DJ set. This proved to be a huge hit with all the guests as we had people of all ages up dancing and was a bit different to your typical wedding disco.

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

For our honeymoon we went to the south of Italy, we stayed in Sorrento but also visited the amazing Capri, Almalfi Coast, Postiano and the fascinating Pompeii. It’s a stunning part of the world and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a potential honeymoon destination.

Helen Russell Photography

My top tip for Brides Up North sounds so clichéd yet it’s so true… it would be to make sure you enjoy every minute of the day as it really does fly over. Also I’d say try not to be too nervous before hand as once it gets started the nerves will all go and you will love every minute of it.

Helen Russell Photography

 

Congratulations Claire & Ryan!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Helen Russell Photography 

Eslington Villa and Helen Russell Photography are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Perfect Peace. A Blue 1950s Vintage Wedding Dress For A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Charlotte & Lee

November 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Kirsty Mattsson

And that’s a wrap! 

I’ve just called time on our seventeenth luxury wedding exhibition of the year at the National Railway Museum in York, and our last of the autumn/ winter season 2013.  It’s been epic, and I have you lovely lot to thank for that.  I have the best readers and wedding industry supporters (but then we always knew that, didn’t we?)!

My legs are killing me and I’m cream crackered, but my head is all of a buzz with big ideas, new plans and daring dreams of how to take this Northern Revolution to the next level in this our 4th year and into 2014.  Whilst I have a cheeky lie in (come on, I deserve it!) and attempt to decompress a little – a plan built on hyperactivity is no plan at all after all – I’m leaving you with something pure and pretty to greet you this Monday morning.

After the full on, high octane activity and inspiration of this weekend, blogging Charlotte and Lee’s stunning yet simple Real Wedding was an absolute joy.  Their images, by Kirsty Mattsson, capture a calm and sincere celebration, that’s a little different and a lot beautiful. Bliss.

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Charlotte says:  We got engaged in October 2010 at Oktoberfest in Munich (whilst in a beer hall!) and were married on 7th September 2013 atHensall Church for our ceremony and Womersley Park for our reception. 

Kirsty Mattsson

Hensall is the village where I grew up so the church has a long family history; I was the 4th generation to marry in this church on my mum’s side so it was important that we got married here. Womersley Park is a beautiful venue not far from the church

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

I chose an ice blue 1950’s vintage dress. It was from a wonderful shop in York called Glory Days Vintage.

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

The bridesmaids wore a vintage style ivory lace dress from Monsoon  and the Lee wore a Paul Smith suit, shirt and tie.

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

My flowers were a mixture of country flowers, with lavender and gypsophila by Lisa’s Flowers in Selby. 

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

The owner of Womersley Park drove us back to the venue in his vintage Bentley convertible.

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

We went for a vintage tea party with a country, village feel.  We hired a beautiful marquee by Shades Of India and kitted it out using Bar Hire Yorkshire and Wendy’s Vintage Tea Parties

Kirsty Mattsson

Our colour scheme was quite mix and match, but with lots of pastels and blue.  A lot of things were made by me, my family and friends which gave the day a personal touch. We made the invitations, favours, seating plan (which was a suitcase to show off our honeymoon), macaroons and wishing tree. 

Kirsty Mattsson

Our wedding cake was a vanilla sponge with beautiful cream and blue icing.

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

Our wedding video was by Silver Sixpence Films and our beautiful images by Kirsty Mattsson. 

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

In the evening we had a fantastic band called Alex Graham and the Concords who I can’t recommend enough! They got everyone on their feet and really started off the evening with a bang! We also used a great DJ called Craig Halligan who created a great atmosphere and played the songs we wanted, again I would wholly recommend him. 

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

The whole day was amazing.  The ceremony was lovely and the band really transformed the day.

Kirsty Mattsson

Kirsty Mattsson

For our honeymoon, we have booked a self-drive tour of the American deep south, from Nashville to new Orleans in May 2014.  We can’t wait! 

Kirsty Mattsson

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to create the day that you want, find suppliers that you trust and add lots of personal touches!

Kirsty Mattsson

 

Congratulations Charlotte & Lee!

Would you like to share your Real Wedding with Brides Up North?  Here’s how

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Kirsty Mattsson

This is not a sponsored post

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

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It’s Just A Little Blush: A Real Wedding In The North West – Eleanor & Patrick

January 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Sometimes my favourite Real Weddings aren’t the ones with all the fiddly details, they’re the ones with all the fabulous personalities.

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Eleanor and Patrick’s perfectly personal celebration, with images by documentary photographer Haydn Rydings Photography, proves my point exactly.  Enjoy!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Eleanor says:  Patrick asked me to marry him in December 2011 on the spot where we met for our first date in Newcastle upon Tyne.  We were married on 3rd November 2012 at Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We knew we wanted to get married near Bridgnorth in Shropshire as coincidentally both my mum and Patrick’s dad grew up there. So the main reason for choosing the venue was the location; Eleanor’s family have lived on a farm just outside Worfield for three generations and my mum remembers being taken for tea there with the Dowager Viscountess by her mother and grandmother when she was small. In recent years lots of family parties have been held there so we knew the food and service would be excellent. & of course it is such a beautiful house!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Loosely our theme was ‘heritage’. I work in the heritage industry and we thought it was quite an appropriate theme since we are bringing two families’ heritage together.  Our colours were pink, black and white, chosen by Patrick’s sister. Pink is my favourite colour and black and white are Patrick’s football team, Newcastle United’s colours.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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I bought my dress on Etsy from a seller in Boston, USA. After trawling Etsy for a pink vintage dress appropriate for getting married in I couldn’t believe it when such a beautiful dress was exactly my measurements. I’m 5ft11 so it is incredible that not only did it fit but it was also long enough. A few people on the day said they were a bit surprised by my pink dress, but the majority said I couldn’t have been married in any other colour. My friend who lives in New York brought it over as her carry on when she came home in the summer.

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I was also determined to wear the crystal necklace I bought with money my uncle gave me for my 21st birthday and to use a little pink suede Mulberry bag my godmother who was doing a reading had given me a few years ago. So my necklace and shoes were my old, my dress was my something new. I really needed a petticoat to go under the dress so I was delighted when Patrick’s mum said she had her mother’s wedding dress petticoat, so with a few alterations, she managed to make it fit me, so that was my something borrowed. Then I painted my nails a pale blue.

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Then to top it off, my great aunt remember she had a cream shawl with pink embroidered flowers that was my great, great grandmothers, so that kept the chill off in the evening.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick really wanted to wear a kilt as his mum is Scottish but he wasn’t sure about which tartan. Then his mum discovered that he could hire a Northumberland tartan kilt so he matched that with an Argyll jacket (he wanted something a bit more modern looking) from The Highland Store in central London and a black bow tie with white spots from Woods of Shropshire. He finished the look off with new Paul Smith shoes.

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So we both managed quite successfully to pull together outfits that represented our heritage!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick’s best man was his best friend from school, Edwin.  My male of honour was my friend Adrian from university. The ushers were a mix of cousins from both sides. We let them wear their own suits/kilts and just provided black ties with white spots from Woods of Shropshire, and for those not in kilts we provided bright pink socks from Sock Shop.

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The bridesmaids wore white dresses with black spots with silver shoes and different coloured cardigans. The eldest bridesmaid’s dress was from Debenhams, the middle bridesmaid’s dress was handmade by her grandmother and the youngest bridesmaid’s dress was from TK Maxx.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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It was a November wedding at 4pm so we didn’t bother with any grand entrances as it was getting dusky, so I arrived at the side entrance to the venue in my dad’s car. This meant I could make my grand entrance down the main staircase.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our mums and friends put together the two bouquets carried by me and my eldest bridesmaid and the buttonholes. The buttonholes were made up of dried wheat referencing our Shropshire heritage and dried thistles referencing Patrick’s Scottish heritage, all bought from Shropshire Petals. I carried a bouquet of supermarket white roses, ivy from my uncle’s garden on the farm and dried wheat. My eldest bridesmaid carried a bouquet of supermarket roses and gyp. My little bridesmaids carried signs saying "Here She Comes" and "Make Way".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We wanted a wedding that referenced our heritage and was distinctly us. We gave a lot of thought to the ceremony music and agreed we wanted some live music. I walked in to an instrumental version of Elvis’ "Love Me Tender" played by a group of friends on ukuleles (our second date was to a ukulele group meeting & we knew we wanted a ukulele band at the wedding so contacted all our friends who could play guitar or ukulele, most of them hadn’t met before the big day and had only communicated over email and youtube). Whilst signing the register, a school friend of mine & the best man’s wife performed an acoustic version of The Crystals "Then He Kissed Me". We walked out to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have ethical wedding rings, Patrick’s ring was made from fairtraded and fair mined gold by Cred and my ring was made from recycled platinum by American jeweller Ravens Refuge.

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My favourite part of the day was walking out of the ceremony as a married couple and seeing all our friends and family looking so happy for us.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We opted for a hog roast for our wedding breakfast so Davenport House contracted a hog roast man to provide the meat.  We also brought in a barrel of Northumbrian Brewery High House Farm’s real ale Nel’s Best (I’m known to friends and family as Nell).

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The majority of suppliers were found online, with floristry supplies from Amazon, wedding favour supplies from www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy and www.papermash.co.uk.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We used family wedding photographs for our wedding table names. Patrick’s sister made spotty frames for the photos with the names of the couple underneath. The couples included our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. For the table plan Patrick’s sister photoshopped mine & Patrick’s faces onto a wedding photo of Kate & Wills, with the names around it.

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We were determined to have a feminist wedding so the speeches were given by the best man, male of honour and the bride and groom gave a joint speech.

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Our third date was to a pub quiz so we decided to hold a pub quiz before & after the meal as an ice breaker, with us as the quiz masters. The questions were general knowledge but the pictures round was of celebrity couples on their wedding day. It worked really well and got people talking. We gave put pub snacks on the tables too and gave out prizes to the winners.

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During the ceilidh we put out a dressing up box and a camera on a tripod to create our own photo booth which resulted in some hysterical photos!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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As thank you gifts, we brewed sloe gin and damson vodka, made green tomato chutney and I embroidered handkerchiefs with a message for close family members. For favours we bought pink and white striped bags which we stamped which we stamped with a ‘Thanks for coming’ stamp in black ink, filled them with sweets and closed with black and white spotty tape.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We booked The Ship Band, a ceilidh band for the evening which was very successful! The combination of Scottish family members and Eleanor’s friends who attended Edinburgh University with her meant plenty of people were quick to get on the dance floor. When the band finished they just plugged in our ipod whilst they packed up.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We had a mini-moon at The Harbour Master Hotel, Aberaeron. We are going on our honeymoon to the West coast of America in April, starting in Vancouver with a trip to see Patrick’s step-grandmother who couldn’t come over for the wedding, and finishing in LA.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Everybody keeps telling us how much they loved our wedding because we broke from tradition and planned a wedding that was about us and our friends and families coming together. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t worry too much about what other people might think, have the wedding you really want to have, and don’t worry about including things that are fun or silly.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Congratulations Eleanor & Patrick!

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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 © 2013 Haydn Rydings Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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