Brides Up North

english rose. a classic wedding at Crathorne Hall – tracey & steven

November 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Today’s couple, Tracey and Steven, know it pays to keep things classic.  Their celebration at the soon to reopen fire ravaged Crathorne Hall (click here for the full story) with traditional detailing, fabulous florals and one killer frock, is a masterclass in elegance.

With images by Phil Smith Photography.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Tracey says: Steven proposed on our two week road trip holiday through Europe, travelling through Germany, Austria, Italy and France in May 2012.

Whilst in Austria we spent some time camping and trekking in the Alps. On the day of our engagement we trekked up one of the most beautiful mountains in Austria. On the way back down the mountain, surrounded by the most stunning Alpine scenery, Steven paused to tie his laces and asked me to take some photos. Whilst I was taking some photos of the amazing scenery, Steven sounding startled asked me to look at the lump that had appeared in his walking socks. He then revealed a personalised wooden ring box and proceeded to ask me to marry him. Of course I was overwhelmed and completely shocked, of course I said yes!

Unbelievably Steven had driven from Sheffield to Alpendorf two months earlier, a 35 hour, 2000 miles round trip, just to find the perfect location to propose! Once he had found the perfect setting, he dug a parcel into the mountain, behind a tree, containing the Champagne, flutes and a little note in German, asking if found, for the parcel to not be removed!

As you can imagine, I was astonished at the time, trouble and effort Steven had gone to, to make our engagement so special. I couldn’t believe someone could have done this for me. The final surprise came from Steve’s back pack, when he revealed a brochure of a 5* spa hotel in Alpendorf for that night! This made a refreshing and romantic change to the Camping.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

We were married on 11th July 2014 at Crathorne Hall Hotel. Crathorne Hall Hotel was the venue of one of our 1st Weekends away and after view dozens of other venues it was clear that we had been comparing them all to Crathorne Hall. Its such a beautiful building in superb surroundings. The staff had also always been to friendly and professional.

With such an amazing venue, we wanted to best complement Crathorne Hall and so went with an English Country Rose theme. The flowers were really important in accomplishing this. We chose a colour scheme of dusky pinks, green foliage and champagnes.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

My dress was a Maggie Sottero gown, Ivanka Marie. I chose this dress because I wanted a statement dress. The dress has a sweetheart neck line, fitted corset, huge fluffy layered tulle and a very long train with Swarovski detail. When I first saw the dress on a mannequin I didn’t like but when I tried it on I knew it was the dress for me.

Steven wore a grey three piece suit from House of Fraser in Birmingham.

My adult bridesmaids wore dusky pink maxi dresses from House Of Fraser in Meadowhall and the flowergirls wore ivory embellished dresses from Debenhams in Sheffield.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Phil Smith was our photographer. Choosing the right photographer was one of our most important decisions, when planning our wedding. We had decided that we would sacrifice having a professional videographer to ensure we could have the perfect photographer and the best quality photo album we could. Phil certainly was the perfect photographer.

From the first time we met Phil at a wedding fair at Crathorne Hall, we knew he was the man for us. Phil was such an easy person to talk to and nothing seemed too much trouble, but more importantly it was Phil’s portfolio of work that really caught our eye. Phil’s ability to really capture the mood in his shots stood out from the competition. This was really important to us, as we didn’t just want traditional shots.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

I carried a bouquet of pink peonies, mixed English garden herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, finished with large oyster pearls and pink blush German lace. All flowers were supplied and designed by Michelle Meehan owner of The Grange Wedding Flowers from Sheffield. The help and guidance Michelle  provided was second to none, she really is a superb florist, that’s willing to go the extra mile.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

During the ceremony and also outside for reception drinks we had Arco String Quartet playing personally selected tracks, including my entrance music ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri from the Twilight Saga.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

During the reception drinks we also had Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting, this went down very well with all the guests, especially as we had keep this a secret. The Class Laser Clay Team were ultra-professional and extremely friendly, I would certainly recommend them.

We also had a selection of garden games, such as lawn darts, croquet and French boules.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

As we had a lovely summer’s day, we had Strawberry Daiquiris and bottles of Peroni for welcome drinks served with a selection of lovely canapés.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

For favours, we had lemon drizzle butter cream cupcakes, iced in the colour scheme of the flowers with a Alice In Wonderland style eat me flag. These were placed inside vintage tea cups and saucers on the table. We used Kiss Me Cake Bakery, based near Holmfirth. They allowed us to keep our own vintage tea cup and saucer as a memento.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

I choose an Alice In Wonderland inspired three tier cake, two tiers were toffee and the middle tier lemon. The cake was made by Angel Cakes in Rotherham. The cake design was even better than I had imagined. We tried many cake samples at wedding fairs and Angel Cakes was by far the best, extremely moist and lovely flavours.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

Our DJ in the evening was the Ultimate Wedding DJ based in the North East and we had a photo booth from Limelight Hire in Northallerton.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

It’s so difficult to pick a perfect part to our wedding. The ceremony was amazing and the speeches were great fun but the quiet times when we went off with our photographer for some couple shots were a nice way to break up the day and help it all sink in.

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

We left for our honeymoon the morning after the wedding. We had breakfast with our guests and set off to the Airport at 11am. We flew to Nairobi, Kenya and then on to the Masai Mara for 3 nights safari at the Kicheche Bush Camp.

The Camp was amazing, with zebra and wildebeest coming right up to our tent at night. We literally saw everything whilst on safari, including lion, cheetah and leopard. An evening watching two lionesses and seven cubs play only 20 metres away, whilst the sun went down was a real highlight.

From Kenya we flew to the Seychelles and stayed at the Constance Ephelia Resort on Mahe Island. Rather than just spending our time on the beach, we managed to explore the Island, with some trekking and even managed to try the local delicacy of Fruit Bat Curry!

Crathorne Hall Wedding Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to visit and research venues, it is so important to get the perfect venue for you. Similarly ensure you find the right photographer for you, your photographs along with your memories are the items that will last the longest. It’s so important to be happy with them.

For our First Anniversary we plan to visit the spot of our engagement in Austria. I wonder if Steven will be planting anything in the Mountain this time!

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The Wedding That Rocked! A Real Wedding At The Alnwick Garden – Sarah & Dave

August 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Alnwick Garden Luxury Wedding Exhibition September 2013

It’s insanely busy at Brides Up North HQ at the moment as we finalise plans for our autumn season of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions.  We’ve got eight marvellous shows coming up this time around, and right across three regions too.  Make sure to put one of these in your diary.

We start the season in under a fortnight’s time (I’ve blinked and missed the Summer) at the extraordinary venue that is The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland.  I first became aware of this gorgeous and unique spot via submissions to the blog, and it was when I first blogged this Real Wedding back in 2012 that I knew this venue was something special.  When they invited me to work with them earlier on this year, I couldn’t start planning fast enough!  I’m not really into reposting (we keep things fresh here at Brides Up North) but it’s beautiful, it’s timely and aren’t the best things in life always worth a reprise?

You can pre-register for FREE entry and your VIP Bride To Be Welcome Pack on Sunday 1st September 2013 by clicking here.

Alnwick Garden Wedding by Phil Smith Photography

This Real Wedding at The Alnwick Garden sent to me by North East Wedding photographer Phil Smith Photography and real bride Sarah has to be one of the most fabulous big days that I’ve ever seen.  I just love it all, from the vinyl table names to the heart shaped balloons to the bride’s beautiful birdcage veil.

Sarah and Dave: your wedding truly rocked. 

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So Not Matchy Matchy! San Patrick For A Real Wedding At Ellingham Hall, Northumberland – Jennifer & Sean

July 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Phil Smith Photography

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This morning we join Jennifer and Sean for their pretty May wedding in Northumberland.  With images by Phil Smith Photography, Jennifer only had one rule – no matchy matchy!  The result?  A elegant, personal celebration in a stunning setting.  Enjoy. 

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Jennifer says:  We got engaged on the sofa in our front room on 2nd January 2012. It was the night before Sean went in for surgery so I was already quite emotional!  He almost did it on New Year’s Eve and New Years Day but didn’t want it overshadowed. My Dad already knew it was coming as Sean had asked his permission. 

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We were married on Saturday 4th May 2013.  The service was at St Maurice Church in Ellingham and the reception was next door at Ellingham Hall.

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Phil Smith Photography

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We needed somewhere with accommodation as my family are from down south so they would have to stay over. Ellingham Hall is an exclusive hire place, its not a hotel so we had it all to ourselves from Friday to Monday and got to spend loads of time with our wedding guests. It also has cottages in the grounds so everyone was nearby. We looked at about 20 venues!

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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We didn’t have a colour scheme.  We used spring colours in general with a bit of the groom’s family tartan thrown in. My one thing I knew I wanted is I didn’t want everything to match.

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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I went for a very traditional big wedding gown, it was strapless with a lace and silk bodice, ruched over a tulle underskirt with applique flowers.  It was from an amazing shop called The White Tulip Wedding Company which I would highly recommend.  It was made by San Patrick who are owned by Pronovias but use less expensive fabrics for a bride on a budget – it was also in the sale!

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Phil Smith Photography

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In the morning I had help in getting ready from an amazing make up artist called Melanie Hedley based in Newcastle who travelled up on the day.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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I made my bridesmaid’s’ dresses myself. I knew what I wanted and couldn’t find it in my budget so I got a pattern and got to pick exactly what colour fabrics I wanted and could tailor them to each body shape. They were the same pattern but different colours – a bouquet of bridesmaids!  The guys wore three piece suits from Harry Brown at Slaters of Newcastle. 

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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The church was right next door so I picked the fanciest car from the guests and jumped in that! And we walked back in a big procession along the country lane.

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Phil Smith Photography

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I had an informal hand tied bouquet of my favourite flowers – purple tulips, pink peonies, white roses, green pompom chrysanthemums and lots of gypsophila. I pretty much had to get married in May!  The flowers were by Lilly Rose Flowers of Morpeth and were exactly what I wanted.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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We loved our amazing photographer, Phil Smith Photography, the day would not have been the same without him!

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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The tables were all themed differently around us as a couple, places we’ve been and things we enjoy. We used things from our home that we’d collected over the years as centre pieces and themed the favours to each table and person.  All the children had a toy themed to the table they were on so they didn’t get too bored.

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As a personal touch, we used champagne flutes we had been given as an engagement gift for the top table.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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My favourite part of the day was our wedding breakfast – working the tables with my new husband, seeing everyone enjoying themselves and laughing and crying through the speeches. 

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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The cake was homemade by family, friends and myself, it was based on a design I tore out of a magazine about 15 years ago! Five tiers all covered in white chocolate panels – a chocolate brownie layer, fruit cake, banana and choc chunk, Battenberg and lemon. 

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Phil Smith Photography

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We had a pianist during the cocktails and canapés before dinner and a DJ at night. A friend who is in a wedding band advised us against a wedding band! It turned into a bit of a 90’s rave in the end, great fun!

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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The honeymoon was a surprise from my wonderful husband, we had a private cabin in the mountains in Corsica with a couple of days in Paris either side. It was perfect.

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Phil Smith Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be reflexology the week before the wedding!  Don’t imagine the day too much just go with it, make your plans but then let it go, the important bit is you are now married to the person you love.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Congratulations Jennifer & Sean!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding here on the wedding blog?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Phil Smith Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Blushing Romance: Jenny Packham For A Real Wedding At South Causey Inn – Katie & Phil

June 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Phil Smith Photography

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So, yes, I know we’re not officially back to business here on the wedding blog until tomorrow morning, but I’ve returned from my (much needed) break (in the sun, thank you very much!) to an inbox absolutely bursting with beautiful Real Wedding submissions, exclusive interviews and some much anticipated dates for your diary that I couldn’t resist popping in this weekend to share some of the lovely a little early.

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As I’d hoped, I’ve returned revitalised, full of ideas and itching to get started on the second half of what is already shaping up to be a rather wonderful year here at Brides Up North HQ.  Our third whirlwind year is truly our best yet.  I’ll be sharing some exciting news, concepts and beautiful new features on these pages soon, but as I get set to clear that inbox (bear with me people, this could take a while) and immerse myself back into my beloved World of all things wedding, I’ll leave you with Katie, Phil and their gorgeous Summer celebration at South Causey Inn with images by Phil Smith Photography.

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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Katie says:  We got engaged on 5th August 2011 at a gig in Leeds during one of our favourites songs “The Music” by The People. 

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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We got married on 31st May 2013 at South Causey Inn in Stanley, County Durham.  The venue is nice and homely. We aren’t really flashy people and although we enjoy going to grand weddings we didn’t really see it as us. We wanted something cosy and liked that they also have a farm attached. We had been for food a few times and really loved it.  That also played a big part as we love good food!

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We used a lot of florals and pastel colours to keep in with our vintage theme. 

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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My dress was Gaia by Jenny Packham. It was the first dress I really liked after trawling the internet. I ordered it from Poppy Bridal in Darlington who had it sent up from London to try. Although I tried on about six other dresses, I knew that was ‘the one’ and ordered it the same day! I had a Jenny Packham headband too.

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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I had eight bridesmaids so it was quite hard to cater for them all: my chief bridesmaid was pregnant at the time of our wedding and one had just had a baby too. I looked all over for bridesmaid dresses and ended up with mine in the sale from H&M for £7 each! Their shoes were from Next and some had belts for the dresses which my chief bridesmaid, Helen made.

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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I never thought I would say it but my favourite part of the day was actually walking down the aisle. I chose the song which Phil didn’t know about so that was a nice surprise for him. I really enjoyed seeing everyone as I walked down the aisle and made sure I took it all in. Seeing Phil was my favourite part, he is quite hard normally however when I got to the bottom, he had tears in his eyes (which he is still denying)!

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Our flowers were from Oasis in Washington who did a brilliant job of creating vintage looking flowers. I didn’t want any sparkle or bling so they kept them simple with brown raffia tying them together. They were roses with some greenery.

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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We decided to ask Phil Smith Photography to do our photos, we loved the work he had done and especially liked the fact that there is something unusual about his photography. The idea of having twenty minutes away after the ceremony for some shots in a nearby forest was a fantastic idea from him and we both love those ones in particular. We couldn’t be happier with the results and think he has captured how special our day was. He captured every last detail without being intrusive, we would recommend him to any couple looking for a photographer. 

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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Our invitations, table plan and name cards were made by a friend, Mick Hall who did a fantastic job.

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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We had birdcages as centrepieces with vintage flowers around them, we also had some bunting made by a friend, Gillie Marshall which had ‘Mr and Mrs Clarke’ stitched into it. This was on the top table and looked fab

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Our favours were port or Jagermeister for the men and a small candle for the ladies, both had different ribbon around them with a home-made tag saying, ‘With Love, Phil and Katie’, these were also made by Helen.  We had vintage style a sweetie cart for the kids although it seemed that the adults took to it most!

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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We had a prop box with various fancy dress items, a frame and chalk board for people to write messages on and a load of disposable cameras to take photos with.

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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South Causley Inn Wedding Photography

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We choose our own playlists, one for the day and one for the evening. We asked our guests to give us some song choices and incorporated them into the lists. We had a DJ on the evening supplied by the South Causey Inn and we emailed him our playlist and asked him to bear these songs in mind when playing. We had classics from The Libertines, Stevie Wonder, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Style Council…

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We went to Berlin for a few days after the wedding and are due to go to Cuba at the end of July, we are doing four nights in Havana and ten nights in Varadero which we can’t wait for!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax and take it all in, I know it is a cliché and everyone I spoke to before the wedding gave me the same advice but it is really true. I had been really stressed leading up to the wedding and I woke up on the wedding morning like a totally different person, I was calm and really relaxed. I really enjoyed the whole day from start to finish, from having breakfast with my bridesmaids, mum and mother in law to be until dancing all night with our friends and family.

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Congratulations Kate & Phil!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Phil Smith Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Supplier Showcase: By Gina Jewellery In A Styled Bridal Shoot At Woodhill Hall, Northumberland

May 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Wahey!  Friday’s only gone and bloomin’ landed!  Why is it that the week following a Bank Holiday always seems longer (and busier!) than ever?

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I’ll be collapsing in an event planning induced stupor – did you know it’s our last luxury wedding exhibition of the season next Sunday at Sarah Beeny’s Rise Hall (finishing with flair – click here for all the details!) – but whatever your plans for the weekend (anyone getting wed? hands up!) I hope it’s filled with glamour and glitter, just like this cute and colourful little styled shoot by Brides Up North Featured Supplier By Gina Jewellery to show off her handmade twinkly things. 

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With some help from some of my very favourite Featured Suppliers and North East wedding industry friends, the result is a little pop of sparkle to start your Friday off beautifully!

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Gina says:  I organised the shoot to showcase my jewellery but also the amazing venue Woodhill Hall, which hadn’t been used in a photo shoot before. I wanted to do something a little different from the usual head and shoulder shots of jewellery so hunted all over Pinterest for some inspiration and to show Phil Smith Photography the sort of style I was looking for. Luckily, Phil and I have very similar ideas of what works and he came up with some more excellent ideas. I loved the quirkiness of Woodhill and wanted to use their wallpaper and scenic views in the shoot. I have seen so many ‘vintage’ shoots about that I wanted to use the jewellery as a focus rather than a specific style.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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The day was excellent.!  We had been forecast for rain all day but when we got up to Otterburn the sun was shining but it was blowing a gale! Phil and I had a walk around the venue and discussed shots and locations and a few extra ideas we had for getting some excellent shots. There aren’t a lot of stairs at Woodhill, but when  you run up and down them at least 50 times an hour it seems likes there are a lot more!

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Phil and I were both very keen to get some shots on a sofa outside… the only problem being the sofa was brand new, the walls had just been painted and papered and the doorframe didn’t have an inch spare! After a lot of debate the sofa went outdoors and we prayed that the heavens didn’t open we were lucky and the shots were so worth it!

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Since the photo shoot, we have had a bit of news. My other half accepted a promotion meaning we will be moving to Colchester in August. I will still be making and selling jewellery and the great news is that AJ Bridalwear in Newburn is now a stockist of my jewellery, so I will still have jewellery in the North East! I’m going to miss it up here, but I will be up every month or so and so will be able to keep up with what is happening in the region. 

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Phil Smith Photography has a reputation for creating stunning yet personal images, he undoubtedly tells the story of every wedding. With eight years experience as a head photographer for the UK’s biggest portrait brand, Phil has the ability to engage and create genuine expressions within seconds. It’s with this experience, whether you’re someone who hates their photograph been taken or enjoys the limelight, Phil will help create memorable moments with friendly and positive direction. This gives your images great expressions, comfortable body language and makes you look great and feel great.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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By Gina Jewellery offers a stunning range of handmade Swarovski crystal and pearl wedding jewellery. All the designs are priced to ensure that all budgets can afford to have quality design without compromise. They also offer a bespoke service to create the perfect piece of handmade wedding jewellery unique to you.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Woodhill Hall is a 300 year old detached Georgian country manor, situated near the village of Otterburn in the heart of Northumberland. The Hall has been lovingly restored to offer luxury accommodation for up to 26 guests to enjoy the house and its grounds. Set on a private estate of 100 acres of woodland and meadow, Woodhill Hall provides exclusive use for you and your guests to unwind in elegant surroundings with family and friends, free from distractions of other parties.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Favour-it-ism can make your special day as unique as you are. By hiring their products you can tailor the design and colours to match your theme. Their bespoke favours and alternatives to traditional names cards provide novel gifts for your guests and their lollipop trees add an element of fun to any buffet table.

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At The Design Studio they offer a fantastic personal service to help you create perfect floral designs for your special day. Whether your wedding will be a small intimate affair, or a much larger event, we will be able to cater for your individual plans

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Award winning Y.A.P Bridal based in Newcastle has come to life from the beliefs of a family who know the importance of love, friendship and marriage. Their bridal boutique is treasured and is about ‘You’ being precious to your family, friends and most importantly your groom on ‘Your Day’.

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Their bridal boutique houses exquisite wedding dresses and wedding gowns offering a wonderful collection of elegance, sophistication and uniqueness from local designers in and around Newcastle to couture designers from home and from across the seas.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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At Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear, they understand that shopping for your wedding dress or outfit should be the experience of a lifetime! Their staff are all naturally warm, friendly and attentive – they want you to feel at ease from the moment you enter their bright and airy store. Their bridal dress department has spacious fitting rooms with large mirrors and also seating areas for your family and friends. It is their aim at Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear to make your search for your dream wedding dress as enjoyable, relaxed and comfortable as possible.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Lauren E Summers is a north east based makeup artist, who has trained in all aspects of cosmetic, fashion, photographic, media and airbrush makeup. She is also a fully trained beauty therapist, and owns a successful salon is Washington, Tyne and Wear, which offers a full range of hair and beauty treatments.

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The Big Event is a professional freelance make up artist, hairstylist & beautician based in the North East of England, creating hairstyles to suit each individual, from elegant, classic, vintage & modern for any event or occasion.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Little Black Book:

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Venue – Woodhill Hall 

Photographer – Phil Smith Photography

Jewellery – By Gina Jewellery

Wedding Dresses – Y.A.P Bridal 

Suit – Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear

Makeup – Lauren E Summers

Hair – The Big Event

Chair Covers – Favour-it-ism

Venue Decor – The Design Studio

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Due to her relocation Gina is having a sample sale. She has lots of Rainbow shoes, umbrellas and handmade jewellery & tiaras looking for happy homes. You can see the items online www.bygina.co.uk or pop into Gina’s Washington boutique before it closes at the end of June.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Phil Smith Photography

By Gina Jewellery is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: The Wedding That Rocked! A Real Wedding In The North East – Sarah & Dave

December 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Alnwick Garden Wedding by Phil Smith Photography

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Now, I know I say this a lot (pretty much every time I open my inbox), but today’s Real Wedding sent to me by North East Wedding photographer Phil Smith Photography and real bride Sarah has to be one of the most gorgeous big days that I. HAVE . EVER. SEEN.  I just love it all, from the vinyl table names to the heart shaped balloons to the bride’s beautiful birdcage veil.

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Sarah and Dave: your wedding truly rocked. 

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North East Wedding by Phil Smith Photography

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Sarah says:  We got engaged on 27th July 2010. Dave took me out for my birthday for a meal but had booked a suite in a nice hotel on the Quayside in Newcastle Upon Tyne as a surprise. He tried to get me to go for a walk so he could propose on one of the bridges after the meal but I had eaten too much and just wanted to lie down, ha ha!

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Luckily he had booked a suite which had a full glass wall overlooking the whole Quayside so he got down on one knee in front of the view and I was so excited, it was totally unexpected. I said yes immediately and cried!

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We were married on 29th June 2012 at The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland.  Neither of us had been before and we had gone to look at the Castle as a possible venue and they told us we could get married in the gardens too if we wanted to have a look while we were there so we did. As soon as we walked in we both turned to each other and said “this is it!”. 

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We chose a bright garden theme to match the venue and incorporated our love of music. Very muted greys and ivory outfits but then really bright exotic flowers and décor to set them off.

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Colourful Wedding Flowers by Phil Smith Photography

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I chose a wedding dress called Lizana by La Sposa from Darcy’s in Morpeth.  It was strapless with a fitted long bodice and a mermaid kick out at the bottom, no bling just nice fabric detail and a little edgy like me!  I had emerald green shoes with custom made shoe brooches under my dress.

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My bridesmaids wore strapless floor length gunmetal grey dresses from Debenhams.

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Our necklaces, my veil, jewelled hair combs, shoe brooches, and wish box were all custom made by Kathryn Russell.

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I carried a teardrop bouquet in exotic bright flowers with green orchids and glorosia lilies by Fern of Morpeth.

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Our friend Ben (the singer in Dave’s band) sang an acoustic version of “Grow Old With You” from The Wedding Singer during our ceremony.

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We wrote our own vows and didn’t show each other so they would be a surprise on the day. Dave totally blew me away with the emotion he showed and his words were perfect despite having to pause a few times to compose himself. He had the whole room in tears and he made me feel like marrying me meant the world to him as he is not usually an emotional guy.

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We decorated the venue ourselves using giant flowers that used to be part of the NewLook summer window display!  I went round all the North East NewLook stores to ask if I could have them the year before and they were donated to the gardens after the wedding to use for charity event.

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We had music themed table names on vinyls and made badges which were put onto handmade rosettes which said “This Wedding Rocks” and were used as napkin ties. 

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We also had a remembrance table with candles to remember those who couldn’t be with us (especially my Dad) – my Mum gave me away.

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We had a five tier sweet cheesecake from The English Cheesecake Company in London.

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Our friend’s band – The Monologues – were amazing and kept us entertained all night long!  We made our own playlists for ceremony, wedding breakfast and in between band sets.

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We learned a special dance and had a few lessons prior to the wedding to make our first dance perfect.

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In the evening we also had Pop Up Studios, with props and blackboards for our guests to write messages on for us to go into a guestbook album.

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After the wedding we jetted off to Thailand: Bangkok three nights, Chaing Mai five nights and Koh Phi Phi Island for the last ten! Amazing!

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My top tips for other Brides Up North would be don’t get hung up on the little things, if there is something you cant afford to do or a piece of décor you cant get hold of no-one will know it isn’t there except you! Also try to steal away some time to spend with your husband after the ceremony, it’s a big deal and you should reflect and share the special moments of the day together away from the crowds. Because of our venue our photographer had lots of places to take us around the site for photos and because of his unobtrusive and relaxed style he did a lot of the shots at a distance which gave me and Dave the chance to chat and take it all in away from everyone else. We really treasure this time we had together.

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Congratulations Sarah & Dave!

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Newlyweds!  You know what to do!  Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories. 

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  – Images © 2012 Phil Smith Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Within These Ancient Walls: A Real Wedding In The North East – Sarah & Sam

November 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Wedding at Durham Castle by Phil Smith Photography

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What’s better than a lazy Sunday with a huge Sunday dinner?

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A lazy Sunday with a huge Sunday dinner and a beautiful Real Wedding to ogle, that’s what.  Today’s sun kissed celebration was sent to me by real bride Sarah and Brides Up North Super Showcase exhibitor Phil Smith Photography, and takes place in my home town of Durham City and at the church down the road from my parents’ house!  So, thank you Sarah and Sam for sharing your day with us and also for sending me a little piece of home. 

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And what’s better than that?

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Durham Castle Wedding by Phil Smith Photography

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Sarah says:  We got engaged on Christmas morning 2010 and the engagement ring was in my Christmas stocking!  We were married on 8th September 2012 at St Laurence Church in Pittington – the village where I grew up. The reception was at Durham Castle.  Durham Castle was Sam’s college whilst at Durham University and where he lived when we were dating.

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I wanted the wedding to be quite informal and vintage but we also have rabbits and had rabbit themed invites, favours and table names!  I chose purple as our key accent colour. 

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Wedding in Durham by Phil Smith Photography

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North East Wedding by Phil Smith Photography

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My dress was an Ellis Bridals dress from Elizabeth of York, in York city centre.  The bridesmaids were in purple dresses sourced from etsy. They were made to measure by Ananya who has an etsy shop.

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I had a bunch of English summer garden inspired flowers, my bridesmaids had gypsophilia and lavender. My florist was Robyn Trainer of Floral Footsteps.

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Actually getting married was the best part of the day, then seeing family and enjoying the reception and disco were all brilliant too!

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We travelled in a super cool was a red vintage jaguar from Martin Devlin – it matched my shoes!

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We had an afternoon tea instead of a traditional wedding breakfast. We sourced vintage small plates for guests to use for the afternoon tea.  Posh chair Covers & Bows supplied our chair covers.

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My mum made a three layer cake, two sponge and one fruit layer with miniature knitted bunnies to top the cake also knitted by my mum.  Our place settings and favours were hand knitted rabbits with guests names around their necks.

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After the wedding we travelled around the Dordogne in France enjoying good food and good wine.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you have a good photographer as the day goes by so quickly but you will have the photos to cherish for years to come. We are really pleased with our photos – thanks Phil!

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Congratulations Sarah & Sam!

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Get in touch to see your own real wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Click here to find out how. 

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  – Images © 2012 Phil Smith Photography

Phil Smith Photography is a Brides Up North Exhibitor, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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