Brides Up North

you are my sunshine. enzoani for a rustic wedding at brosterfield farm – olivia & nathan

February 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (33)

The winter might still be dragging on but get ready as we’re about to inject your Monday with a fabulous dose of sunshine and happiness.

Olivia and Nathan’s rustic wedding sets the style bar sky high with stunning attire and décor to match.

I adore the pale grey and vibrant yellow colour palette which shines through in the mens’ get up, lovely blooms and the bridesmaids’ cute dresses, designed by the bride herself no less!

So let’s head down to the farm to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.

With images by Maryanne Scott Photography.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (36)

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (2)

olivia says: We got engaged early April 2013. Nath picked me up from work as a surprise on a Friday afternoon and took me to Chester for the weekend. On the Saturday we went for a picnic on a river bank which he had prepared, he remembered everything, the blanket, basket and champagne! After eating lunch he proposed. It was absolutely freezing but very romantic.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (3)

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (6)

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (5)

We chose to tie the knot on August 9th 2014. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and we were restricted to school holidays, if we wanted a honeymoon, as Nath is a teacher.

We got married at All Saints RC Church in Hassop, where we had a Catholic ceremony with full mass, followed by a reception at Brosterfield Farm in Foolow. Having grown up in Sheffield I was always being brought out to the Peak District at the weekend for walks. It is such a beautiful part of the world and I wanted a beautiful setting for the wedding.

I very much wanted a rustic, DIY wedding and knew I wanted a field and marquee. The marquee allowed us to have enough space for 120 day guests and around 185 in the evening. This is what Brosterfield provided, a long open space for the marquee with beautiful scenery, enough space for us and our immediate families to stay and an excellent service. It was perfect!

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (9)

The theme was DIY/rustic/handmade, which is very much the theme at home, so it was easy for me to adapt this to the wedding. There wasn’t a colour scheme as such. I decided I wanted grey dresses for the bridesmaids – I wanted something neutral and knew I didn’t want the pale pink ‘pretty’ look. Nath wanted a grey suit so we went for grey for the lads too. Nath saw a yellow tie he really liked, he wanted a bit of colour to stand out and it really suited his colouring. So we decided to use the yellow in my bouquet and his button hole too to make us stand out and tie us together.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (10)

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (11)

My dress was a Blue by Enzoani Dakota fish tailed lace dress. It was the perfect shape for my figure as I have a very small frame at the top but hips and a bum so it showed everything off. As it was a Catholic ceremony I wanted to have my shoulders covered. I had a small top made with ¾ sleeves in the same lace as the dress with matching buttons down the back. I then took this off for the evening reception. I also had a long veil with very small diamantes on it. I bought my dress from Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield. Emily and her staff were superb throughout the process.

I bought a vintage belt before I bought my dress, which I spotted at a vintage fair. I wanted to change my outfit a little for the evening so it was the perfect addition for the reception. I also wore a handmade forehead band in the evening made by Debbie Carlisle. She was incredible and replaced all the diamantes with pearls to match my jewellery and shoes. My shoes were pearl coated five-inch heels which I bought from Etsy from a Yorkshire-based seller called Project Elegance.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (14)

Nath wore a three-piece grey suit from Reiss. He bought a white shirt from the Saville Row Company with a white collar bar and had this personalised with McG on the cuffs (our surname is McGuinness). The knitted tie was from Ted Baker and we managed to find a matching pocket hankie in Reiss and socks in Urban Outfitters. I bought Nath a pair of silver cufflinks with a pearl detail which I had designed at the jewellers and had given to him the morning of the wedding. These were engraved with McG on one and the wedding date on the other.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (15)

I had the bridesmaids dresses made as I had designed the dresses and there was nothing similar on the high street or online. They were a grey sweetheart neckline with mesh top, a tutu bottom and a big bow on the back. They had pearl buttons down the back. The girls wore Kurt Geiger silver/grey heels and pearly flowered headbands. The younger bridesmaid and flower girl had very similar style dresses but made in ivory. They had fresh flowers in their hair.

The ushers and best men had three-piece suits from Next and the dads had very similar ones from M&S. They had grey ties made by the lady who made the girls’ dresses. They all had a different pocket square made from vintage scarves which I collected from vintage fairs and shops in the grey theme too. We also had two page boys; Charlie wore a mini version of the groomsmen’s suit from Next with a bow tie and braces with converse. George wore shorts with braces from Etsy with a bow tie.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (32)

I went to the church in a vintage VW Beetle called Jenny and the bridesmaids in a vintage VW Campervan called Harry. They were hired from Vintage Volksweddings. Nath and I then had the Beetle to the farm and we had lots of lovely photos with it at the end of the drive whilst our guests arrived. Richard from the company was absolutely superb – I would recommend him to anyone.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (18)

The photographer was Maryanne Scott and she was brilliant. Maryanne did a trial shoot with us before we booked her – we were both a bit nervous about being in front of the camera but she put us at ease straight away. We also had an engagement shoot before the wedding. On the day we couldn’t have asked any more of her. Maryanne was at my Mom’s house where I was getting ready early on, she took some fab getting ready shots and then set off into the countryside to get photos of all the lads and then the guests arriving. She takes natural, beautiful photographs, capturing the details of the day and special moments without you even knowing she is there. What an amazing photographer and a lovely person, she really was a joy to have photograph our big day!

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (61)

I knew I didn’t want the standard pretty flowers for our wedding day. We used a lady called Catherine at Petalis in Sheffield. From our first visit Cat understood my vision. We had vintage tins as centre pieces and dotted around the marquee which Cat filled with beautiful flowers with pops of colour as well as using milk churns and watering cans with bright, wacky summer flowers as displays. Cat decorated the church with beautiful, more subtle flowers. She also created stunning button holes and bouquets using natural textures and grey foliage to fit our theme. Cat managed to deliver very high quality flowers to fit the rustic vision and colours, delivering to multiple venues. I was so pleased with them all!

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (59)

The men were given vintage football programmes as their favours. As a massive Sheffield Wednesday fan and Nathan being a massive Manchester United fan we decided to purchase a programme from the 60s-80s depending on the person’s age for either SWFC or MUFC versus the team that person supported. The women meanwhile were all given vintage brooches which I had collected from charity shops, antique shops and car boot sales before the wedding. The children were all given a personalised colouring pack and crayons which I ordered off eBay. I also made 80 jars of strawberry jam as extra favours with special labels. I’ve had so many people asking me to make more jam since!

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (56)

We had a three-tier cake made by Lindy Lou Cakes with a Victoria sponge tier, fruit tier and lemon drizzle tier. It was decorated very simply with ivory icing and pearl details all over with an icing bow. I then made the cake toppers to add some more colour. We also had chocolate cupcakes to match.

We hired The Butlers Pantry in Mickleover to do the food and they were absolutely fantastic! First we had prosecco and canapés, including mini Yorkshire puddings with beef, and cheese and sundried tomato tartlets. We then had sharing platters as our starter so there was something for everyone. For main we had Chicken filled with brie and basil wrapped with Serrano ham in a mushroom and tarragon sauce and then Eton Mess for pudding. We had a pizza van for our evening catering by Fabio’s Wood Fired Pizza Oven. They arrived and set up without disturbing us in the slightest and created a variety of amazing pizzas to suit everyone’s tastes!

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (62)

For entertainment we had a band called ‘up4thedownstroke’ who came up all the way from Birmingham. They were just incredible and everyone commented on how amazing they were – not a typical wedding band but a professional set up with soul, RnB and some more generic songs to please everyone. Our friend Cookie DJ’d between the band’s sets and afterwards. We also provided games both inside and outside the marquee for the few children who were at the wedding and they went down really well too.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (21)

The special touches on the day were just all the little things I made, from bunting on each chair to the crocheted doily table runners. I also made signs to go around the venue, did photo displays and a ‘rules of the dance floor’ sign too.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (19)

Other suppliers from our wedding that I would recommend include Julie at Stephen Bywater Hair, who did mine, the bridesmaids’ and my Mom’s hair. Posh Frocks and Wellies marquee company were also very good. They provided the marquee, the hardwood flooring, the tables and chairs, linen and the toilets. I’d also highly recommend Brosterfield Farm if you are looking for somewhere to make your wedding your own. It gave us the freedom to use all different suppliers and contacts and make the day perfect for us.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (52)

I genuinely enjoyed every single minute of our wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed our vows – it was really important to us both to have a catholic ceremony and it was really special. I also loved our first dance where we had a slide show of photographs of us in the background and followed this with a dance with my Dad. The speeches were also brilliant, though I think it was just really special to have all our friends and family together.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (28)

We went to Bali on our honeymoon which was wonderful. We spent the first ten nights in Nusa Dua – a more touristy resort and the last two in the most amazing boutique hotel in the jungle in Ubud.

a fresh yellow wedding in the Peak District (c) Maryanne Scott Photography (34)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be make it your day, don’t let anyone put you off any of your ideas. This is your day, the most special day of your life, and it has to be perfect for you both. Incorporate details of both of you into the day and make memories to last a lifetime!

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love and lace. lusan mandongus for a wonderful winter wedding in the peak district – stephi & matt

February 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (36)

What’s not to love about today’s wedding?

Matt and Stephi’s celebration oozes opulence and style, from the bride’s stunning lace dress and regal faux fur wrap, to the classic Austin York car and those sensational blooms. However, this couple didn’t get caught up in the planning process enough to lose sight of the reason they were tying the knot – simply because of the love they have for one another.

So wrap up warm as we join the Matt and Stephi in reliving their romantic winter wedding.

With images by Ruth Atkinson

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (10)

stephi says: We got engaged on 1st August 2014. I was in Keswick helping at the Keswick Convention and Matt came to pick me up at the end of the three weeks. It was a really rainy miserable day but he eventually persuaded me to go for a walk up to the hill where we first started going out three years previously. We got there and he got out a picnic blanket and then gave me a box of letters that he’d written over the last three years that he’d saved for when he proposed. I read through them all and then he got down on one knee and popped the question! Then after a little picnic, we made our way back down the hill to the car and Matt tripped and fell headfirst and slid on his front down the entire muddy hill. It was a very hilarious addition to the proposal story!

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (12)

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (13)

We set the date for 3rd January 2015. We knew that we didn’t want a long engagement and to drag it out. So we started at 12 months and moved forward until we got to a date that worked.

We got married at Christ Church in Fulwood, Sheffield. Matt and I are part of the church family there and so there wasn’t really any question about getting married anywhere else. We chose Firth Court as our reception venue. I’d been to a wedding there before and thought it was beautiful and we thought it was a massive bonus that it is on a main road, just in case the weather decided to turn nasty! We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The team there was professional in every way and delivered a great service, plus the building is stunning inside and out.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (14)

Matt and I very much wanted our faith in Jesus to be the centre of the day. Yes it is ‘our big day’, but we both believe that all good things come from our Father in Heaven so we wanted to reflect that in each part of the day – particularly the service. Everyone said how much of a joyful celebration the service was, of our love for each other and of God’s love for us all.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (16)

We wanted a very simple and elegant wedding in terms of style. I didn’t want the day to be about the theme or the décor etc but about the fact that we were getting married. I chose a pale blue for my bridesmaids and pretty much everything else was very neutral – lots of whites and ivory and pale blues.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (19)

When it came to my dress I tried on a lot of dresses! And my problem was that I liked them all. I ended up choosing a long sleeved, lace dress by Lusan Mandongus from Lulu-Mae Bridal in Sheffield. It wasn’t what I had thought I wanted but after I left the shop I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I went back and tried it on a second time and fell in love. I ended up having a seamstress disaster two weeks before the wedding (just before Christmas) but a brilliant lady, Penny Beal came to my rescue and was incredible. I also had a faux fur wrap from Monsoon, which was perfect to keep me warm out in the Peak District. Julia Smith did my makeup and she did incredible work on my stressed out skin – I felt amazing all day.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (20)

Matt wore a Classic tailcoat suit with traditional striped trousers, hired from Moss Bros. He had a patterned ivory waistcoat and plain ivory cravat.

My bridesmaids wore floor-length pale blue dresses that I got online. I loved the way the neckline and lace at the top matched my dress. They also had scarves to keep warm when we were outside – I got them from Primark! The groomsmen wore the same as Matt. They also all had scrabble letter cufflinks with their initials. We also had two flower girls, who wore beautiful dresses from Monsoon, and three page boys. As part of their outfits they wore red converse to match with the bridesmaids scarves.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (26)

We travelled in a 1937 Austin York. We hired it from Legends Wedding Services and loved having such a beautiful classic car in the photos – although it was freezing!

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (27)

Ruth Atkinson was our photographer. She has done a lot of our friends’ weddings and it was the first thing we knew we wanted when we got engaged. She takes absolutely beautiful photos and we hardly noticed her at all on the day. We received our photos from her within a week of being back from honeymoon and couldn’t have asked for anything more from her.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (42)

I carried a natural looking bouquet of white roses, gypsophila, silver brunia, grey eucalyptus and muscari. It was absolutely beautiful and went brilliantly with my bridesmaids’ small posies of gypsophila. Katherine at Petalis in Sheffield was really helpful in giving her experience and ideas whilst still listening to what I wanted. Petalis also did our reception flowers. We had candelabras as centrepieces on each of the tables. Some of them were dressed with gypsophila and some were left plain. It looked like a fairytale! We also had lots of candles in jars dotted all over the place.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (23)

We gave out charity favours for three of our favourite charities – NSPCC, Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society. I wrote a little poem explaining why we had done it and attached the pin badges to the card.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (44)

As I’m gluten intolerant cake isn’t a very easy thing to get right, and Matt and I both have an unhealthy love affair with cheese so we decided to have a cheese cake. It was absolutely incredible and we still have cheese left now! It also killed two birds with one stone as we just had accompaniments and served it up as the evening buffet.

The catering at Firth Court was out of this world. Several people said it was best wedding food they’d ever had – the gravy was so good I could’ve drank it. We had Wensleydale cheese and leek tart with grain mustard dressing for starter, then for main we had roast loin of Moss Valley pork with a dry rub of sage, garlic and thyme, spiced apple compote, cider gravy, seasonal vegetables and potatoes. For dessert we had dark chocolate fondant with white chocolate ice cream and raspberry coulis.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (52)

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (53)

Matt and I are both musicians so we knew we wanted a really good live band for our evening reception. Our first choice was always Function Fever and they didn’t let us down! They had everyone on the dance floor and everyone said how great the band was.

A couple of special touches included us sending out ‘mad lib’ RSVP cards. These were a lot of fun and we loved reading through everyone’s replies. A friend of ours also organised a special guestbook for us. She drew a tree and guests did their fingerprint leaves on it, and we also had little guest cards for people to fill in and leave little messages.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (48)

My favourite part was definitely the service. Just after we got married, turning around and seeing everyone there was a really special moment. But most of all hearing everyone singing their hearts out in worship was so beautiful.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (49)

For our honeymoon we went to H10 Hotel Rubicon in Lanzarote. It was lush. We had such a relaxed week, enjoying the sun and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. The spa was great place to go on the cloudy days and it was the perfect place to relax after all the madness leading up to the wedding.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (54)

In the run up to the wedding, regularly remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s not about the favours or the place cards but about two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. My motto (especially when I couldn’t get in my dress two weeks before my wedding) was: ‘As long as we get married, the day is a success. Everything else is just a good story’.

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party in the peaks. a rocking marquee wedding near Sheffield – chloe & tom

November 24th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (49)

There are those people that think they know how to throw a party and then there are those people that know how to absolutely nail a party. Today’s real wedding couple falls into the latter, no questions asked.

Self confessed laid-back couple Tom and Chloe wanted a chilled-out celebration but one that would be incredibly good fun – and that’s exactly what they delivered.

Musician Tom and his talented mates kept the marquee rocking late into the night with incredible live music. One performer in particular may well look familiar as a certain Arctic Monkey attended the do.

Ready, set, rock!

With images by PH Weddings.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (15)

chloe says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic but because we’ve been going out for 12 years now, we just both knew what we wanted. It was April 2013 when it happened. We were out down Kelham Island in Sheffield having a few drinks and we just decided there and then to get engaged. We are a very laid back couple and were both not into the whole attention knee thing, so it was perfect for us both, just between us two.

We set the date for September 20th 2014.

We got married at my local church, Sacred Heart Church in Hillsborough. I was christened and baptised there and I used to be an altar girl there when I was little, plus I went to school next door, so me and Tom agreed that would be the best place for us to get married.  We had the reception at Foxholes Farm, Bradfield. We chose that venue because we love the area it’s in and we wanted a marquee in a field – it was the perfect location for it.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (42)

As a very laid back and relaxed couple don’t particularly like the traditional wedding side of things, we wanted a party for everyone to enjoy and celebrate with us – and that’s exactly what it was!

We both like the colour navy so we both decided that would be a good start and would work well with the time of year.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (37)

My dress was from Lulu Mae in Oughtibridge, Sheffield. I knew I wanted straps and my back showing and this dress offered both and had a romantic vintage look to it, I love it!

Tom and his best man both wore navy suits from Reiss, they both looked very dapper. The bridesmaids wore a navy one-strap dress from Debenhams, they both looked gorgeous. I had my niece as my flower girl and she wore a dress from Accessorize in a dusky pink, as she loves anything pink and I had my two nephews as pageboys and they both wore navy trousers with a white granddad shirt with piano printed braces, they looked very grownup and handsome.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (39)

PH Weddings were our photographers. The people behind the business are Helen and her husband Paul, they were fantastic, exactly what we wanted and I would definitely recommend them. They just did exactly what we asked and the photos look great and in a good way we hardly knew they were there because that’s what kind of photos we wanted – a more natural, unposed look and they captured the day perfectly, everyone just looks so happy!

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (38)

I travelled with my bridesmaids and my dad in a VW camper van, which was lent to us by some friends, and my dad drove us to the church, which was funny. The rest of the party went in an old fashioned double-decker bus, which we hired from the Sheffield Transport Museum.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (41)

When it came to flowers I didn’t have a clue. I left it to my friend Catherine, who owns a florist called Petalis, to choose the flowers. I trusted her and she did exactly that and more – the flowers were amazing, they looked beautiful and perfect. She did all the flowers for the venue, including a display outside which looked perfect in the surroundings. The tables looked beautiful also; they had a main centre piece of flowers and then lots of little vases dotted around the tables and on the head table, Catherine had just left a vase for me to put my bouquet in, so that I could enjoy looking at it for the whole day.

I had some wooden confetti hearts made with our name and wedding date on, and some music paper shaped hearts confetti scattered around the tables which matched perfectly with the flowers. My niece and nephews made the table names and table plan, because I thought it was nice for them to get involved with the day and it was a nice homely touch. Our favours were a bag of mixed sweets that I that I had chosen. I think they went down well as most of them were eaten before the meal.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (57)

We had PJ Taste do our catering, they were fantastic, and the food was gorgeous. We had nibbles for when we got back from the church, like mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and then pie and mash for our main meal and then a hog roast for later on. Everyone said the food was fantastic and that the pies were the best they had ever had.

My mum made our wedding cake, she is a great baker so there was no doubt that she would make it! It was a two-tier very chocolaty cake, it was immense! She also made a few other cakes, as did my sister, aunty and mother-in-law, there was no shortage of cake that was for sure!

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (4)

Tom is a musician and most of our friends are so as always when one of us gets married they get together and play. They had chosen what to play, they kept it a secret from me, but they were great. It was so good and such a laugh, they had chosen songs that Tom and I loved and everyone just had a good old dance and sing-along. We also hired a bouncy castle to keep the little ones entertained.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (16)

Our favourite part of the day was seeing everyone enjoying it and looking happy, it was exactly what we wanted, just a great party with all our friends and family there.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (23)

We’ve not had a honeymoon as yet. We had a mini-moon to Castleton in Derbyshire for a few nights the weekend after because we love it there, but we’re hoping to go to America next year.

a chilled out party wedding in the Peak District (c) PH Weddings (29)

Our tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the day and take it all in. Try not to worry about other people enjoying it, you two just enjoy it and relax.

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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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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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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

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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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