September 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we love pink and we love pretty. It’s no surprise then that we fell head over heels for Sally and Liam’s wedding when it landed in our inbox.
This wedding is pretty through and through, from Sally’s stunning fishtail gown to the maids’ sweet pink dresses and those beautiful blooms.
The men at this wedding are also looking fab in their modern blue suits which complement the pink theme perfectly.
With images by Daniel Murrientes Photography.
sally says: We’d been together for almost ten years when we got engaged. We planned a weekend trip to Barcelona in September 2013 after a friend told us we should go. It had been booked for over a month but it was only a week or so before we were due to depart that Liam decided to propose. Unknown to us there was a street festival in the city and the night after he proposed there was a huge firework display on the beach that just finished off the city break perfectly.
Our wedding date was 17th July 2015. We picked it in the hope we may get a sunny day so we could have an outdoor drinks reception. Luckily when the day came, although a little windy, the sun was shining.
We got married at St John’s Church, Hindley Green. This has been my mum’s local church for more than 20 years. When we got engaged we weren’t sure where to get married but then my mum said that she had always pictured that I would get married in St John’s Church – so we did.
The wedding breakfast and evening reception was then held at Stanley House and Spa, Mellor, Lancashire. They had everything covered and wedding coordinator there, Joy Parker, was a credit to the hotel. We had a sheet with a long list of questions prepared but we didn’t need to ask a single one – she answered everything. The venue is designed mainly for weddings and it shows. After viewing Stanley House our search came to a halt as it we knew it was the one.
We wanted the day to have a simple theme with a vintage/rustic feel and thought along the lines that less is more.
I’ve always loved pink so there was no other colour I was going to have on my wedding day. The bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses and the flowers were shades of pink, peach and creams. The groomsmen wore blue suits which contrasted great with the pink bridesmaid dresses.
When it came to the dress, I picked the 1551 style from Mikaella Bridal, a Canadian designer. I tried on a few dresses in different styles but as soon as I tried on this dress both my mum and I knew it the right one. I didn’t buy it straight away though. Me and mum went back again a few weeks later to try it on again and ensure it was definitely the one.
Liam wore a blue Lambretta suit which we purchased from Slaters in Bolton. His best man, ushers and the father of the groom all wore the same suit, teamed with a navy blue dickie bow.
Initially the bridesmaids had each picked their own style dress from a range with each style to be ordered in the same colour. Unfortunately when they arrived, two of the four bridesmaid dresses were missing. We were told replacements would take three weeks however, they took eight and when they did arrive they were in completely the wrong colour.
All four dresses had to be refunded and with just three weeks to go until the wedding, a last minute bridesmaid dress search began. After trying highstreets shops with no hope my mum and I headed out to bridal warehouses in Bolton, Stockport and Liverpool and eventually found four bridesmaid dresses in the right colour and all the correct sizes in Bolton. The staff at the wedding dress factory outlet in Bolton were amazing and so helpful. They went above and beyond to ensure we got sorted. Not only did the bridesmaids look stunning, but we ended up saving £100 per dress – every cloud!
Our wedding transport was provided by Satin Cars in Wigan. They were so professional and I loved the vintage wedding cars we picked. They transported the groom and ushers to the church prior to collecting myself, father, mum and bridesmaids.
Photographer Daniel Murrientes captured the day for us. We wanted a photographer that would catch the emotions throughout the day. My favourite photograph is the one of me, Liam and my dad at the aisle were I’m wiping away a tear (I was a blubbering wreck). This is photograph will now always take me back to that moment and how I was feeling.
Dan was also just an all-round great guy. Most of the time you didn’t even notice he was there. He seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the day and clearly enjoys his job. We loved having him there and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else!
On the day I carried a bouquet of roses in shades of pale pink, peach and cream. These were provided by Sara at Flowers with Passion. I chose Sara after meeting her at a wedding fair at Event City. We went to her show room not long after and she was so professional and did everything she could to ensure she understood our requirements and preferences. She had a large portfolio and has won lots of awards.
Her showroom was fab – she had a large book of cuttings of all different flowers, styles or colours that she looked through with us first of all in order to ensure she knew exactly what we wanted. She also had a number of flowers, vases etc. within our showroom and put together some mock centre pieces so we could have a taster of what they would look like on the day.
In addition to the centrepieces by Sara, we also had decorations provided by Creative Cover Hire. They provided us with full length white table cloths with ivory lace overlays, lime wash chivarli chairs and ceiling drapes with twinkle lights. Our name cards were luggage tags neatly tied to each chair, which were ordered from Etsy.
Normanddorothy provided our invitations and also the order of service. They are based in Manchester and were really helpful. Everything was perfect and they couldn’t have done anything more for us.
We did DIY favours. We ordered 100 small glass jars from eBay for just £35 and filled them with retro sweets. Some with white jazzies and some with dolly mixtures and covered them with different fabrics purchased from both eBay and Etsy and added twine, plus a thank you tag.
To save on costs our cake was from Marks & Spencer. We added some ‘just married’ bunting to the top tier, which we purchased from Etsy. We then placed the cake on an apple tier next to other cakes, sweets and treats. We had created a sweet table the night prior to the wedding which included popcorn, flying saucers, marshmallows, cakes and cookies.
We found our entertainment via the Function Central’s website. We chose the band Downtown Underground, who were fab! The band was led by Lil Vinny and they provided a mixture of motown funk and soul followed by a DJ set of pop music and indie classics. Our next to last song was my dad’s favourite song I’ve had the Time of My Life, with the final song by Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger.
We bought flip-flops for the evening as dancing shoes for guests whose heels might have started to rub to ensure there were no excuses for not being up on the dancefloor. For guests staying overnight we also provided a ‘hangover kit’, which we put in their room. We found these small personalised drawstring bags on eBay and filled them with sugary sweets, chewing gum, a vitamin c powder drink sachet and a sachet of coffee.
Looking back I have several favourite parts of the day: walking down the aisle to see Liam for the first time, the father of the bride and best man speeches (which were so thoughtful and funny) and the evening disco when the rest of our friends joined us and we could finally relax knowing everything had gone to plan and it had been a great day!
We headed straight on honeymoon after the wedding. We spent one night in Dublin, Ireland. We stayed at The Shelbourne Hotel and as it was our honeymoon were upgraded to a suite. Not only that, the taxi driver that we had flagged down at the airport to take us to the hotel, found out our married name was Murphy and agreed to take us back to the airport to catch our next flight the following day at no charge!
From Dublin we flew to San Francisco were we spent three nights – again, as honeymooners we were upgraded and it was a fab city to visit. We went to Alcatraz, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to China Town, Fishermans Wharf, North Beach as well as a bike ride around San Francisco breweries!
After San Francisco it was time to relax and we flew to Mexico, Cancun were we spent ten nights. We were due to stay at the Moon Palace Hotel. However, due to the hotel being overbooked we were upgraded to Hotel Le Blanc a 5 Star hotel where we even had a butler during our stay. The hotel could not have been better. Here we visited the spa, went wine tasting and even swam with dolphins. Other than that we just enjoyed doing absolutely nothing for a few days!
When planning a wedding some things may not go to plan (just like our bridesmaid dresses) but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to let it stress you out. It will eventually become something you will laugh about and there is a solution to nearly any problem! Otherwise, just enjoy it – after all that planning it’s over in a few hours (although it feels like seconds).
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July 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we do enjoy it when brides push the boundaries with their dress choices. Falling for something a little different, today’s bride Victoria chose a stunning soft golden gown instead of a traditional ivory or white design – and we’re sure you’ll all agree, she looks gorgeous!
The rest of the wedding party keep the style bar high with maids in pretty pale gowns with lace detailing and the groomsmen in smart navy suits with polka dot tie and pocket square.
From the beautiful blooms to the elegant cake the entire day comes together perfectly for the classic and sophisticated wedding that Victoria had dreamt of.
With images by Cahill Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged in London over August bank holiday weekend in 2013. We had booked a weekend away and were staying at the Royal Horseguards Hotel. We always try to go to a Michelin starred restaurant when we go away so Neil had booked a meal at a surprise location. On our way out we had a walk through Whitehall Gardens just in front of our hotel. It was such a pretty little garden with a really old tree in the centre which we had seen through our hotel window. We stopped by it and Neil said something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to embarrass you but….’ Then got down on one knee and pulled out a little blue Tiffany & Co bag from his suit pocket and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked and in a complete daze, I really wasn’t expecting it. Of course I said “yes”. We celebrated our engagement at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.
Our wedding day was 3rd April 2015. We had no specific date in mind to get married, we had talked about a bank holiday weekend during the early stages of planning and it just so happened our chosen venue – West Tower Country House Hotel in Aughton, Lancashire – had Good Friday available.
I had my heart set on West Tower from the first time I saw it. A friend of a friend was a bridesmaid at West Tower a few years ago and upon seeing the pictures I fell in love with it! We did a little bit of research online and narrowed our choices down to a handful we wanted to view in person. West Tower for us just blew the rest out of the water, it was everything I had ever dreamed of and more.
We didn’t really have a specific theme for our wedding day, we just want it to have a classic and sophisticated look to the day to fit in with the venue.
Our colour scheme was vintage/soft pinks, cream and gold. I wanted to have soft colours for a spring wedding and I had always liked the idea of vintage pinks and the colours worked perfectly with the venue.
My dress was from designer Stella York. I bought from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had seen the dress at a wedding fair at the Emirates Stadium displayed by a bridal wear shop based in Chester and I fell in love with it. I did some research into North West stockists of Stella York dresses and Bridalwear by Emma Louise was the only one. I contacted the store and from day one Emma was so helpful. She didn’t stock this particular dress but ordered in a sample for me to try on. I fell in love as soon as I put it on, it was so different to anything I had tried on previously. The colour, the lace, the detail, everything was perfect! It had to be ‘the one’.
Neil wore a dark navy blue three piece suit from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow with a polka dot tie and pocket square. He also wore a bow waistcoat with a pocket watch to make him stand out from the other groomsmen who had classic four button waistcoats with the same time and pocket square.
Our photographer was Martin Cahill of Cahill Photography. We would most definitely recommend Martin to other couples as he was great from start to finish. The pictures say it all, we are so amazed by them and they will bring us happy memories for the rest of our lives.
The majority of our flowers were silk with a few fresh ones here and there. Neil’s mum did all our arrangements throughout the venue and our bouquets. My flowers were hand tied, long stemmed cream silk roses bound with lace.
The chair covers, aisle runner, lanterns, pillars and swagging throughout the venue were provided by Add A Little Sparkle.
All our stationary, from invites to table names were handmade by me. I also handmade all of the pearl and crystal napkin rings for the wedding breakfast which doubled up as name cards.
We gave our guest favours of Charbonnel et Walker milk chocolate truffles which came in a white boxes edged in gold, which tied in perfectly with our theme. We had lots of ideas for favours but in the end went with simple and classic.
Our cake was made by Taylormade Cakes by Tracy. We chose a five tier cake made up of fruit, lemon drizzle, chocolate fudge and carrot. We wanted a quite a large cake to make an impact in the room. It was a classic five tier design with some of the tiers edged in edible lace and decorated with handmade flowers which Tracy had replicated from the silk flowers used in our arrangements. We didn’t see the finished cake until the day. It was so perfect and just what we had imagined, I didn’t want to cut it. I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone.
For our wedding breakfast we had a starter of smoked chicken Caesar salad with herb croutes and bacon crisps followed by mains of Lancashire blade of beef slow cooked in a beer jus with wholegrain mustard mash, roasted shallots, button mushrooms, carrots, swede and bundles of green beans. To finish we had sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream (our favourite pudding). In the evening we had a hog roast.
As entertainment we hired a string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets to play for our guests’ arrival, my entrance, signing the register and for our drinks reception. The Dotted Crotchets were our choice, we first heard them play at the Trafford Centre and we fell in love with the idea. We hadn’t been to a wedding with a quartet before and thought it was a nice touch and a little different to anything we’ve experienced as guests at a wedding. We had full control over the song choices which enabled us to pick songs that meant something to us.
We hired Robin, the MD of Dancefloor Couture, as our DJ for our evening reception. He had played at a number of our friends’ weddings in previous years and was absolutely amazing. We knew we had to have him and didn’t want anyone else. He certainly didn’t disappoint!
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff made us feel comfortable from the first day we visited West Tower, they could not have been more helpful from start to finish. They made our vision of what we wanted our wedding day to be into a reality. It was so much more than we dreamed of. I could not fault them on anything they have a fabulous team and would highly recommend them as a wedding venue.
I enjoyed every single minute of our wedding day, it was such an amazing day and one I will never forget. For me there were a couple of standout points; the moment my bridesmaid and my dad saw me in my dress for the very first time. I had concealed everything about my dress from everyone other than my mum until I was dressed on the day. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see their faces when they finally saw it. It was definitely tears all round moment. Another special moment was when I saw Neil waiting for me at the end of the aisle and taking our vows.
For our honeymoon we went to Hong Kong for four nights then onto Koh Samui, Thailand, for six months and then Singapore for six nights. We wanted to have a long holiday as we normally only do short breaks away, so it was nice to enjoy almost three weeks away from everything together as a newly married couple.
Neil spent a few years as a child in Singapore and time as a teenager in Hong Kong as his dad worked away in these countries, so he was excited to go back and see what it was like now and also to show me where he lived and the things he experienced as a child. We chose Koh Samui as our ultimate luxury destination for rest and relaxation in the middle of our two city stays. We had our private villa with our own pool. It was paradise.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute and try to take in as much as possible as the day just flies by so quickly. Also, take five minutes together to discuss the day so far.
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July 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Happy Friday Brides Up North! Today we’re heading North West to the town of Sale in Greater Manchester for Kinga and Andy’s summer wedding.
The loved-up couple picked their local registry office as their ceremony venue due to its lovely architectural features followed by a reception at the nearby Belmore Hotel.
We love all the pretty touches in this wedding, including the bride’s stunning shower bouquet, the simple centrepieces and those cute pink and white bridesmaid dresses, which all help to achieve Kinga’s goal of a romantic, sophisticated and perfectly pink wedding day!
With images by Csomaphoto.
kinga says: We got engaged on 31st October 2011 during a romantic dinner at home. We fancied a summer wedding and so set the date for 14th June 2014.
We got married in Sale Registry Office as it was the closest registry office to us and it’s a lovely venue. Our reception was at The Belmore Hotel, which is also in Sale.
We chose to have a romantic, sophisticated style for our wedding with a colour scheme of very light pink and white.
I wore a traditional, strapless wedding dress in ivory, with a long veil. I got it from Wed2Be in Bolton. It was a beautiful dress, and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It was the first dress I tried on and it was perfect!
Andy chose a grey suit with white tie and shirt, which he hired it from a shop called Best Man based in Sale. The groomsmen also hired their matching suits from Best Man.
On the wedding day we travelled in a beautiful Mercedes C-Class driven by Andy’s boss at the time. He offered us the ride as we hadn’t booked a wedding car as the venue and the registry office weren’t too far from each other.
Our photographer was Szilvia Csoma of Csomaphoto, who I found on Facebook. We met up and discussed the wedding. As an experienced photographer she gave us lots of advice and many options to choose from. We did an additional pre-wedding photo shoot with Szilvia as well, which was lots of fun and she got to know us. We would highly recommend her to anyone because her pictures are amazing, she’s a lovely person to get on with and the price of the service is friendly on the pocket.
I carried a shower style white rose wedding bouquet, which was provided by Little Flower Room based Stretford.
For our reception we used fake white rose bouquets in champagne style glasses and candles for decoration. The Belmore had its own contracted decorator called Martin, who provided all the white chair covers and satin bows for the chairs and did the decoration with his team. I ordered some bits and bobs for the reception from Amazon.co.uk which I would recommend brides take a look at as I found some brilliant wedding items on there at reasonable prices.
Our favours were heart shaped lemon flavoured shortbreads with white icing that simply said ‘thank you’.
We had a ‘wonky’ wedding cake. It was three tiers (two chocolate and one fruit) covered with white icing and a bride and groom on the top. It was made by my mother-in-law’s friends who like to bake as a hobby.
The wedding breakfast was divine! Our friend, the Belmore’s head chef Jake Parkes, helped us put a classy menu together. We had two different starters, mains and desserts, so our guests could pre-pick what they have wanted.
To keep guests entertained at the reception we hired The Belmore’s contracted DJ who happily played music that we had picked out.
We would definitely recommend The Belmore Hotel to other couples. The venue itself is beautiful and cosy and the food and the drinks are divine! The staff are also very lovely and helpful.
My favourite part of the day would most probably be saying ‘I do’ to my husband. I just couldn’t wait to be his wife, as I love him to bits! He is the best guy ever!
We went on honeymoon to Crete in Greece in September. It was wonderful, chilling all day on the beach or by the pool and eating delicious cuisine. We found out just before our honeymoon that I was pregnant so it was another reason to unwind and celebrate.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to start organising and saving money on time as the date will come in a blink of an eye! Also have a little notepad on hand and take lots of notes, make sure you’ve got everything covered down to the finest detail, make sure you have explored all the best options which are out there and compare prices. Finally, always discuss everything with your partner and work as a team.
May 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
A girl after our own heart, today’s real bride Sarah is huge fan of the colour pink and so styled her big day using a dreamy dusky palette.
Add to this elegant vintage décor, reams of dainty lace and an abundance of beautiful roses and you’ve got one very pretty wedding day indeed.
Fellow pink patrons, you’re going to love this!
With images by Pixsmiths Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on 4th May 2013. Stuart asked me to marry him on a stunning local beach in place called Caldy. He then took me away to a beautiful spa hotel in Cheshire called Carden Park for the weekend.
We set the date for 4th September 2014. This was the date of my great gran’s wedding who was also called Sarah. This was only a coincidence but four and nine are special numbers to us. We live at number nine and got engaged on 4th May.
Our ceremony was at St John’s the Divine Church and Nunsmere Hall was our chosen venue for the reception. We got married in a church as we always wanted a traditional wedding with god’s blessing and this was our local church. Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire was chosen due to its tranquil and magical setting. We fell in love with it as soon as we stepped foot inside. The place had so much character and warmth.
The theme we chose was a vintage style, as we both loved the look. It was very close to both our families. We could connect to old furniture, glassware and our interests. The colour scheme was dusky pink as I have always been a ‘pink’ girl and the colour fitted in perfectly with the vintage theme.
I found my dress in a cute little store called Bellissima Brides in Brimstage, Wirral. It was made from soft delicate lace with tiny sparkles to catch the light. The dress had a sweetheart neckline, see-through romantic A-line overlay and stunning lace fringe. My Papa’s wish before he passed away was to buy my dress. Unfortunately he did not see it but my dress means so much to me now!
I chose a mid-single tier veil which had a matching lace and a sparkle fringe. In my hair I wore a vintage silver slide. My hair was styled by Hair Dolls and was more than I could have dreamt, with beautiful curls pinned like a waterfall with a few loose ones hanging to accentuate the back.
I chose my Elegant Steps shoes with my mother in-law. I went for comfort and also a little lace and sparkle on the toes!
My make-up, done by Catherine Bobby, was natural and flawless with the use of my own deep rose lipstick and lip liner, which meant I could top up throughout the day!
Stuart wore traditional tails in a mid-grey colour, ivory waistcoat and an ivory cravat chosen from Moss Bros.
My three bridesmaids wore pale dusky rose coloured dresses from Dessy, which matched sweet avalanche roses.
To match the groom the groomsmen and page boy also wore traditional tails in a mid-grey colour with ivory waistcoats and dusky rose cravats. These were also hired from Moss Bros.
A very close family friend who is like an uncle to Stuart was honoured when we asked him to be our wedding day chauffeur. He picked me up from my parents’ house and took me to the church and then drove both Stuart and I to Nunsmere Hall in his Mercedes Benz
Pixsmiths Creative Photography, who we would most definitely recommend, took our wedding photos. They were brilliant throughout the whole day and to have two photographers capturing the whole day allowed every aspect to be caught on camera. The pictures are perfect and their hard work is very much appreciated.
Carys West was our florist and she did a wonderful job. I carried a bouquet with a picture of my Papa on a tag tied to it. The bouquet mainly consisted of vintage roses in cream, ivory and dusky pink with pale sweet avalanche and Amnesia dusky roses.
We decorate the reception venue we had 12 centre pieces of tall vases with a ball of flowers on top of each, which consisted of the same flowers in my bouquet. These were again supplied by Carys West.
We also had lace decorated jam jars and silver vintage tea light holders and scattered heart shaped vintage floral pattern confetti on each table. Each name place card was attached to the guests’ favours – a miniature jam jar decorated with lace. Inside was a Wigan delicacy called an ‘Uncle Joe Mint Ball’ (Stuart is from Wigan).
Family friends of ours, Jessica and Sophie, made our cake. We chose a three tier round cake with ivory icing with the bottom tier (fruit cake) with an ivory ribbon, themiddle tier (also fruit cake) had a lace edible pattern and the top tier was Victoria sponge. We had a waterfall of roses down the cake in two tones of dusky rose colours.
To keep our guests entertained we had a live band called JC & The Two-Steps which is a talented local band from the Wirral. The ‘party’ was something that was always important to us and we both love live music and got these guys through a recommendation from Stuart’s work colleague. We also had a DIY photo booth which created some hilarious memories.
To make the day our own we added a few special touches such as providing our guests with tissues for ‘tears of joy’ at the church and handmade confetti from dried petals. Also instead of guests signing a book we got a wooden giant ‘&’ sign cut for people to sign on both sides.
Our table numbers were ‘dates’ that were special to us and we had a ‘family ladder’ decorated with lace which had photographs of both Stuart’s Grandma and my Papa on who both passed away in the lead up to the wedding so they could overlook the day.
In memory of Papa and Grandma we also had two candles lit at the front of the church. I carried a picture of Papa tied to my bouquet as I’d always wanted my Dad and my Papa to walk me down the aisle right from being a little girl.
We are proud that we did most things ourselves. All the stationery was designed by my younger brother. He designed the invites, table names, table plan, save the dates and order of service, keeping to the same vintage theme.
We would definitely recommend Nunsmere Hall to other couples. It’s a beautiful and breath-taking venue with its secretive garden by day and ‘Aladdin’s cave’ by night. Perfect, secluded venue in Cheshire.
We loved the entire day but for me my favourite bits were the morning preparations with my best friends and Mum, then walking down the aisle looking at Stuart and saying my vows! Also dancing the night away at the evening party!
Stuart’s favourite parts were sharing it all with the special people in our lives, having a special moment for more photos down at the jetty at dusk and having great live entertainment in the evening.
For our honeymoon we went to Kenya on a magical safari and then onto the Seychelles for pure beauty and relaxation. In Kenya on a safari we could hear elephants eating around our tent and hippos scratching at night. We watched lion cubs playing and saw giraffes walking past our tent – amazing! In Seychelles we flew through the mountains on a zip wire, stroked giant tortoises and snorkelled with tropical fish as well as walking on the most photographed beech in the world!
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be the groom involved in all that you can! The memories start from the preparation. I’d also say get part of the day filmed – we had friends and family that took footage over the day, which is great looking back at! Most importantly, enjoy it all and go with the flow!
April 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Here at Brides Up North we make no secret of the fact that we love all things pink! And so when we saw Stephanie and Robert’s incredibly pretty day (with lots of lovely pink touches) we knew we had to have it on our pages.
This big day is both cute and classy with special touches including a vintage tiffany blue VW campervan named Dylan, original Penguin paperback books as favours and wonderful décor in paper diamonds, twinkly lights and rustic style bike wheels in a nod to the couple’s love for cycling.
So let’s saddle up for this flawless Yorkshire celebration.
With images by Weddings by Smith.
stephanie says: We got engaged at home in our bedroom. It was a low key affair, fitting of our relationship – quiet and understated. The ring was a real surprise, and beautiful, inherited from the groom’s mother’s great aunt. It is lovely to have such a family heirloom.
We chose Saturday 13th December 2014 as our wedding date. We wanted a winter wedding as December has always been a special time for us, and we thought the Yorkshire setting would be stunning on a crisp winter’s day (which we got). We didn’t want to follow the traditional summer wedding approach, this was a way to make ours a bit different.
Our wedding was at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire. We chose the venue as it’s been somewhere we have cycled past on one of our many cycling outings, but never visited. The Rob’s sister, Sarah (one of the bridesmaids), had previously been to a wedding there and said it was wonderful. Upon visiting we fell in love with it straight away, the barn is beautiful and we loved the fact that the whole wedding could be held in the same venue. Also, being a National Trust venue, fitted with my past as a history graduate from Oxford University.
We didn’t have a specific theme but wanted all the details to be as personal to us as possible. As big cyclists we wanted to incorporate cycling into the wedding – hence the bike wheels decorated with flowers that were hung up around the barn and a poem about a couple and cycling as one of our readings. We’re also both keen readers – note the original Penguin paperback books as favours and place markers for the wedding breakfast.
The colour scheme was generally pink and silver, which were chosen to fit with the bridesmaids’ dresses. And pink has always been my favourite colour!
My gown was an ivory lacy dress with a satin underlay. The back was low cut and the dress had a very simple and sleek silhouette. I really liked the simplicity of the dress, with added elegance from the sparkles on the lace. I bought it from Teokath in Wimbledon. Originally I thought I would want a sixties style tea-length dress, but couldn’t find any that suited my figure. The dress I bought in the end was perfect for my figure.
Rob wore a navy suit from Moss Bros. He, along with the groomsmen, all had pink socks to keep in with the theme. Rob wore a charcoal tie to match the bridesmaids’ dresses while the groomsmen had pink ties. These also tied in with the maids’ dresses, which were pale pink and charcoal dresses by Vera Wang.
Our transport for the day was Dylan – a vintage tiffany blue VW campervan. It did two trips, one with four bridesmaids, and a second trip with the two remaining bridesmaids, the father of the bride, and the bride. It was perfect! Dylan stayed around for photographs afterwards, and was a key part of our vision for the day.
Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith was our photographer. He is a friend of the Rob’s and was a wonderful and perfectly unobtrusive photographer. We wanted photos that weren’t too formal, but picked out the small details we had spent time organising and making. We were also keen to have photos of guests that were of individuals picked out from the crowd in a natural setting, rather than any posed photographs.
Beth Webber, another friend of the Rob’s, did our flowers. She is not a professional florist, but has some experience helping out at other weddings, and we both think she did a wonderful job. We had a theme of wild flowers in pinks and greys. None of the flower arrangements were too fussy, we just wanted to work a casual vintage theme. We think the flowers perfectly reflected the happy, relaxed vibe of the day.
We hired caterers GFS to take care of the food.They were wonderful and fitted the menu around what we wanted. Specifically we requested half the welcome drinks to be Kir Royales (to go with the pink theme), Yorkshire pudding with the main course, the groom’s favourite sticky toffee pudding for dessert (along with specially requested jugs of extra sauce for the tables) and a bottle of port and petit fours to follow dessert. My talented mum made our iced wedding cake of three tiers – one fruit and two sponge.
A group called The Frankies provided our entertainment. We originally requested a band known as The Funtime Frankies, but unfortunately they were not available. However their B group, The Frankies, were, and they were no less fun!
We incorporated several special touches into our day to help reflect our theme. We used beautiful vintage crockery to go on the tables and each guest had their own unique combination of crockery, including tea cup and plate. The effect was wonderful.We also had bike wheels hung on the walls around the barn, decorated with flowers to reflect our love for cycling. Rob’s mum made our hand folded heart books and his sister made paper diamonds in all different sizes and materials.
When guests arrived at the ceremony they were met by the groomsmen, who had a basket of badges with a photo of either the bride or groom on. They were asked to pick a badge to wear for the day to identify themselves. We chose not to have traditional divisions in seating (groom’s family/friends on one side, and the bride’s on the other). Instead we asked guests to mingle, to reflect the relaxed vibe of the day.Our table plan for the reception was created by cutting out photos of all of our guests and placing the photos into wooden pallets. Each table had its own small pallet. We wanted to do something quirky and original.
We would most definitely recommend East Riddlesden Hall to other wedding couples. The venue is stunning and being able to hold everything in the same place really helps when it comes to logistics.
We followed our wedding up with an amazing honeymoon – three months travelling around New Zealand!
My tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every moment; it will be the best day of your life, so relish every second of it!
December 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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