Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dare to do it yourself. a family-focused diy wedding on ullswater, penrith – louise & david

November 28th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is a testimony to the power of DIY. Louise and David did what so many of us dream of doing (if only we were brave enough!): they hired a village hall on Ullswater in Penrith, created a bright, white blank canvas and went to town with personal touches and pops of pastel colour.

Family is everything to this gorgeous couple and there’s plenty of inspiration here for family-focused wedding planning; from kids’ goody bags to their relaxed honeymoon in Pooley Bridge.

In need of some pretty on this Monday morning? Sit back and enjoy.

With images by Jenna Carpenter Photography.

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louise says: We got engaged while on holiday in Tenerife with our little girl Alice and our friends. I had been making several (fairly obvious!) hints to David but he seemed oblivious. One evening we went to a restaurant and everyone was just chatting away when David started talking to me, at first I didn’t realise what he was saying or what he was taking out of his pocket! It didn’t register until our table fell silent and I saw that everyone had massive smiles on their faces. It was so lovely and just the kind of proposal I’d dreamed of. He said some lovely things and I said yes, of course! I later found out that he’d gone to my parents and asked for their blessing and then asked my friend Sarah to take care of the ring for him as we went through the airport!

Our wedding date was Saturday 20th August 2016. We chose it as we thought a summer wedding would be lovely and the date just jumped out at us.

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We got married in Ullswater, Penrith at Watermillock Village Hall. We absolutely love the Lake District as a family and have lots of ties with the place so we knew it was meant to be.

The venue we chose was actually where my sister’s wedding reception had been held. We checked that she was ok with it first and thankfully she was. It’s a great little place: completely versatile, large rooms and a nice big field for a marquee for our ceremony.

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We used a celebrant on the day as the hall wasn’t licensed for weddings. We had such a personal ceremony conducted by Louise Burns from The Ceremony Company. There were several different ceremonies we could choose from and then personalise and Louise spent lots of time asking questions and finding out about us. We went for a traditional service with the vows included and it all came together in the most amazing service, full of tears and laughter. My sister read from A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, which was lovely! Louise did an amazing job and we are so thankful for the care and attention she put into our ceremony.

The style of our wedding was laidback and relaxed. We just wanted everyone to have a good time, enjoy the day and let their hair down. I think the theme could perhaps be described as ‘love and fun’ in the end!

Our colour scheme was white with bright pastel colours. I knew straight away that I wanted a bright, white backdrop. Then the pastels could be integrated in different ways, from flowers to table decorations.

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the great british wed off. a colourful wedding at Scarborough’s seaside – fiona & sam

November 27th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s real wedding kicks-off with an incredibly romantic and festive engagement which is perfect as we’re soon to begin the big Christmas countdown with the help of our advent calendars (some things you are never too old for).

Sam and Fiona agreed on a laid back seaside wedding set around a cute afternoon tea during the day and a rocking party in the evening.

I love that Fiona was brave enough to shun tradition and work a blush pink dress on the aisle, which she looked fabulous in. Not to be left out, the guys also projected some colour with their daring but dashing sky blue bow ties.

So grab your bucket and spade as we journey to the maritime town of Scarborough for Sam and Fiona’s big day.

With images by Photography34

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fiona says: I was eight months pregnant with our first child when we got engaged. It was our first Christmas in our first ‘family home’. We set about putting the Christmas tree up on a snowy Saturday afternoon, when Sam announced that he had a special bauble to put the tree. He presented me with a gold gift box tied with red ribbon, and I opened it to find a glass bauble inside. I took it out of the box and realised there was a message engraved on it so I looked closer, and in the meantime Sam got down on one knee. The message on the bauble said “You are the love of my life. Will you marry me?” Of course, I said yes, and the glass bauble has pride of place on our Christmas tree every year.

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We chose 26th July 2014 for our wedding day – firstly as it wasn’t during the World Cup, but mainly as it was the anniversary of my beloved Nana’s death in 2009. She was my everything, and after a lot of thought we chose this day so as we could turn a sad day in to a happy day for the family.

We married at St Mark’s Church, Scarborough. My parents literally live over the road from the church and it held a lot of happy childhood memories, including me attending dancing lessons in the church hall every Saturday. Both our daughters were christened there also, so it seemed only right that we be married there too.

For the wedding reception, we decided on Betton Farm, East Ayton. Initially attracted by the love of their afternoon tea, I fell in love with the venue’s scenery and the relaxed vibe. We weren’t restricted to just one area, and that was a huge selling point for me. We had the marquee, the main building and the terraces so people could sit in the thick of it or sit where it was a little more quiet and idyllic.

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There was no theme in particular, we wanted a relaxed wedding. We know how hard it is with two small children to sit down for a three-course meal, so we took the whole element of that away and provided our guests with a traditional afternoon tea so as to keep the whole event laid back.

The most important thing was that the people we loved the most could share our happiness with us.

When it came to styling, I was inspired by The Great British Bake Off, which featured an array of colours set in a marquee in the country. I wanted pastel colours, which could be mismatched to create a beautiful pallet.

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In my head I wanted a simple, lace style wedding dress. After visiting a number of bridal shops, I made an appointment at Wedding Belles of Scarborough. I picked out a few dresses and after a discussion with the owner, Jackie, she asked if I would consider wearing a pink dress. I said yes, purely to keep my options open and mainly not wanting to appear rude. After trying on half a dozen dresses, the pink dress was next. I nearly said no, but once I stepped in to the gown I knew it was the one for me.

It was a one off Phil Collins bridal gown, which I wore off the peg. I loved the tone, the way it shone gold in the sun. I had never seen anything like it in my life, and despite it being everything that I said I didn’t want, it was the one for me – like a fairytale moment. I complemented the dress with an antique gold toned veil and a burnished gold tiara. I wore Paradox of London peep-toe shoes, but I had these dyed the same blush colour to match the dress. On the day I also wore my grandmother’s topaz ring.

I carried a bouquet of cream astilbe and my bridesmaids carried a similar bouquet of pink astilbe. I wanted the flowers to look handpicked and not too structure. I used Forget Me Not Florists in Scarborough, and after listening to the image of what I wanted, they created the most amazing bouquets.

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Sam wore a charcoal grey suit from Greenwoods, shirt from ASOS and shoes from Kurt Geiger. He wore the same bow tie and braces as the groomsmen, which I found on eBay.

I also found my mint green adult bridesmaids dresses on eBay for a bargain price of £10 each from a boutique seller. They wore pastel pink heeled shoes from New Look and finished the look off with a cream floral garland and a cream corsage, both of which were purchased from Boyes Department Store’s bridal range in Scarborough.

The flower girls (five in total) wore dresses made by my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. The fabrics and pattern were purchases from The Sewing Centre in Scarborough, and were adorned with the same flowers which were added to the bridesmaid dresses. Each dress was a different colour, so we had pale pink, coral, buttercup yellow, country green and a deep pink. Together the little ones looked so colourful.

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On the day, I walked to the church from my parents as it was over the road. Stopping traffic was fun! To get from the church to Betton Farm, we hired an open-top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us via Scarborough’s North and South Bay. It was such fun, we were all singing and laughing in the sunshine, with tourists on Scarborough beach cheering and applauding us and cars beeping their horns.

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Our stunning wedding photographs were done by Photography34. Tony listened to exactly what I wanted and that was relaxed images. I didn’t want any traditional bride’s family and groom’s family pictures; I just wanted pictures capturing the magic of the day, which he did perfectly. I can see the happiness and emotion in the pictures, and that to me is priceless. I cannot thank Tony enough for the amazing memories he has given us of our day – such a talented photographer.

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My favourite part of the day was defiantly the bus ride, as it was light hearted and fun. Spurred on by the glorious sunshine and the emotional high of the wedding, we were singing Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside and it was one of the groomsmen’s birthdays so we sang a rendition of happy birthday. It was quite literally a fun bus!

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Decorations on the day included bunting in the marquee, which was provided by Betton Farm, who also arranged some vintage-style bits and pieces that I had collected over time. Forget Me Not dressed the tables using wine bottles and jam jars that I up-cycled at home beforehand using twine and antique lace. These were dotted around the tables with wild looking flowers and tea lights. I also hired birdcages from the florist and had these filled with gypsophila, burlap and wild flowers.

We hired a vintage style bike to use as an alternative to a central flower arrangement and the florist moved this up to the farm for the wedding reception.

I also used Celebrate Balloon Box in Scarborough for several selections of brightly coloured balloons to decorate the tables. They matched the theme perfectly and the colours really stood out in the marquee. Andrea Willis Designs, from Scarborough, was a huge help in making various signs which I used in and around the wedding venue. She also helped to make presents for the bridesmaids.

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As we live by the seaside, and as I thought the colours would look amazing, I gave favours of Scarborough rock to my guests purchased from John Bull on the foreshore in Scarborough. I attached a manila luggage tag to each stick of rock which had different messages such as “All You Need Is Love” and “To Have And To Hold”. I tied the seaside theme in by hiring a ‘kiss me quick’ style vintage photo board, which was situated at the entrance of the reception venue. It created fun photo opportunities for everyone and kept the mood light.

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My cake was from Bimbles Cake Emporium, Scarborough. I had a three-tier cake, with individual chocolate orange, strawberry sponge and chocolate cream tiers, which was decorated in country green icing. It featured an antique gold ribbon and lace and was topped with the same cream corsage which the bridesmaids wore.

Our afternoon tea was provided by Betton Farm, which is renowned in the local area for its amazing cakes and scones. We toasted the speeches with champagne for all the guests, which was provided as a gift from my father. In the evening, we had a hog roast from Glaves Butchers with all the trimmings.

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We wanted a party, a pure and simple party, so we used Spectrum Discos, who was amazing and kept the dance floor full right up until the end of the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better night. He played songs from my playlist and seemed to time the mood right to get the guests up and dancing. Everyone had an amazing time.

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Instead of a traditional wedding guest book being passed around all night, I used a battered leather suitcase which had a banner saying “love notes” across it and asked guests to write us a letter on paper and place it in the case. It was amazing to read these messages as they included poems, pictures and words of love. I have made a scrapbook of these and treasure it dearly.

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Betton Farm is a beautiful, idyllic and unique setting for a wedding and I’m so happy we chose the venue, especially combined with the weather – it proved to be a spectacular setting. I would recommend the venue to other wedding couples.

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We took a mini-moon to Rudding Park Hotel and Spa in Harrogate. We stayed in a Follifoot Suite and the hotel couldn’t have done more for us. We were treated to champagne on arrival and were given the best experience. The hotel is stunning, the food exquisite and the treatments were out of this world. We are planning on taking a honeymoon with our two daughters early in 2015.

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My advice to other Brides Up North would simply be to be relaxed. Don’t stress and don’t be afraid to break from tradition. We tailored our day to fit exactly what we wanted and everything was perfect. Enjoy every moment, drink in every emotion, and most of all, have fun as it is the happiest day of your life. When I think if our wedding day, I still grin like a Cheshire cat.

All I wanted was to have fun on my wedding day, and boy, we certainly had that! It was so relaxed and laid back – I couldn’t have dreamt of more.

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Violets Are Blue! A Real Wedding In Lancaster – Natalie & Andrew

July 17th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon we are in the North West as we join Natalie and Andrew for their classic and classy big day.  Natalie paired her traditional styling with lots of beautiful purple blooms for an elegant wedding to her very own sailor!

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With images by Jenna Carpenter Photography.

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Natalie says:  I was leaving the nursery I worked at after being there for almost four years and he got the children I had looked after for all those years to make a sign that said "Will you marry me?" When I came back to the nursery (I had been to do the banking!) the children held up the sign and Andrew held out a gorgeous engagement ring he had brought all they way back from Dubai with him and asked me to be his wife!

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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We got married on 5th May 2013 at Christ Church in Lancaster and we had our reception at Ashton Hall, Lancaster Golf Club.  We chose the church as it is our parish church, Andrew was confirmed there and he went to the primary school linked to the church. We chose the golf club as it was such a beautiful venue. The grounds had so many different pretty places! Andrew had also learnt to play golf there as a child.

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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As it was Spring when we got married I wanted to take advantage of this and have lots of lovely Spring flowers. I picked a colour scheme of all different shades of purple from lilac through to deep aubergine.

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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My favourite part of the day was when we had signed the register and walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! I loved seeing all our guest so happy for us!

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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I had a fitted lace dress with a short train and added a belt to the dress.   The dress was by Phil Collins and I bought it from The Bridal Collection in Lancaster.  Andrew wore a charcoal grey prince Edward suit which we hired from Greenwoods.

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Our bridesmaids wore dresses by Mori Lee in aubergine, also from The Bridal Collection. 

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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I had a very mixed bouquet of spring flowers which included, stocks, hydrangeas, lisianthus, gypsophila, amongst other flowers all in different tones of purple. The bridesmaids had the same types of flowers but in cream and a slightly smaller bouquet size. The flower girls had flower wands which had an assortment of flowers in purple tones attached to it.  Our flowers were by Lune Valley Home and Garden. 

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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My friend who is a fantastic artist painted us a finger print tree and gave it to us as a wedding present, we got all our guests to put their finger print on it and had it framed and now have it in our house as a lasting memento of our special day.

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Andrew is in the Royal Navy so we used names of boats that Andrew has sailed on for table names instead of numbers. 

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We also made party bags for the children that attended the wedding which contained, amongst other things a camera so that the children can capture ‘a child’s eye view’ of the wedding, I have got a copy of these photos as have the children.

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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We had a three tier cake by Blackberry Cottage Bakery.  Each layer was a different flavour, Victoria sponge, carrot cake and lemon drizzle. Is was decorated with a lace pattern and sugar flowers which were featured within my bouquet. Our personalised bride and groom cake toppers relaxed on the top!

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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We had a DJ for the evening entertainment from Audio Genetics.  He was fantastic and played fantastic music which kept everyone dancing in to the early hours of the morning!

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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After the wedding, we went on a mini moon to Sherwood Forest where we hired a luxury log cabin with log burner and hot tub. We are going to go away properly next year.

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that once the day is there and the ceremony and meal is done relax and enjoy yourself with your friends and family, the little things at that point no longer matter.

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Jenna Carpenter Photography

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Congratulations Natalie & Andrew!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Get in touch.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jenna Carpenter Photography

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