Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

serene beauty: a captivating styled bridal fashion shoot in the scottish borders

April 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime

High-Class-Wedding-Photography-by-Stan-Seaton

At this mid-way point in the week we’re helping to give you a little break from the daily grind by transporting you to a place of calm and beauty for a dreamy bridal shoot.

Styled by the team at Darlington-based boutique Poppy Bridal, and captured by Brides Up North Sponsors and North East photographers, Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography, we are totally hooked by these mesmerising images.

Everything in the frame emits ethereal elegance, with the setting, gowns, hair and makeup all hauntingly beautiful. Huge kudos to model Victoria too for managing to look so incredibly graceful while posing loch-side in some rather chilly temperatures.

We’ll now hand over the blog to Jane, to fill us in on how the shoot was executed on the day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

jane says: The location of this shoot – St Mary’s Loch in Selkirk – was suggested by Paula Whittaker, owner of Poppy Bridal, who supplied the stunning gowns for our model. She had visited the location a few years earlier and had been struck by its sheer natural beauty.

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

To get the feel just right for the shoot, we drew our inspiration from the tranquil and untouched surroundings of the Scottish mountains and the dark and mysterious lochs.

We wanted to keep the styling very simple to fit in with the totally raw landscape. Peta Clarke, who is a makeup consultant with Estee Lauder as well as being a Poppy Bridal stylist, did the model’s hair and makeup, ensuring that she got the look and feel that she envisaged to enhance the simple elegance of the Maggie Sottero dresses, which featured in the shoot. Channeling ethereal grace, the captivating gowns featured shimmering embellishments and elegant lightweight fabrics.

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

As with many shoots we didn’t get entirely what we expected, we scheduled the shoot for late August anticipating some gorgeous early evening golden light. However, the forecast was dark and dreary with suspected showers. The reality was constant rain and no sign of golden sunshine!

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

Our aim was to have a fun and inspirational day and create a gorgeous set of images to show off the stunning set of bridal gowns. Wellies, umbrellas and warm coats are not entirely what you would expect on an August photoshoot, but we had lots of laughs and our stunning model Victoria was an absolute star, despite getting wet and frozen through she still managed to keep smiling and looked amazing!

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chic-onomics. augusta Jones for an elegant wedding at lartington hall – jessica & chris

September 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

www.joestenson.co.uk

If you were too busy playing out this Bank Holiday to catch up on all  things Brides Up North, make sure you click here to catch up on yesterday’s news… the new season and Unveiled Magazine, Issue #04 has landed! No rest for us wicked ones though, we’re getting busy with the pretty right away today… today’s bride and groom don’t like things too over the top and so decided to keep their big day simple and elegant, with both modern and traditional touches.

Following a church ceremony Jessica, Chris and their guests carried on the proceedings at the stunning Lartington Hall, which (having visited ourselves) we can say is a splendid choice of venue.

We love how chic this wedding is. With pretty pastel blooms, classic wedding transport and a dreamy satin wedding gown (in which Jessica looks gorgeous) it might be simple, but it sure is stylish!

With images by Joe Stenson.

www.joestenson.co.uk

jessica says: Chris attempted to propose on two different occasions. The first time was a surprise trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights but unfortunately there was an issue with the ring he had chosen so he didn’t have one and choose not to propose (but we did get to see the lights!).

The second was a surprise weekend to Paris but it was the week in 2014 when we had terrible storms and we got stuck in Dover for nine hours as the port was closed so we ended up missing the restaurant booking and arrived at 1am! Again he chose not to propose.

Third time lucky was an impromptu picnic in the New Forrest (we live in Surrey although I’m from County Durham) with our little dog Frank. Chris was acting very strangely, pacing up and down and eventually got down on one knee and popped the question. It couldn’t have been more perfect – beautiful scenery, wellies on and dog by our side!

www.joestenson.co.uk

We set the date for 25th April 2015. We originally wanted a winter wedding but as Chris proposed in March, I was worried there wasn’t enough time to organise a wedding for that winter. I love spring so this was our next option.

We got married at St. Romald’s Church, Romaldkirk, Teesdale, but we had our wedding weekend, including the reception at Lartington Hall.

My family have connections to the area and St. Romald’s is a beautiful church. We also fell in love with Lartington Hall and the two are only a few miles apart so it worked really well when transporting our guests. We chose Lartington Hall because it was exactly what we had dreamed of for a reception venue. It has all the English countryside charm of a stately home, but is stylish and elegant with a modern twist but doesn’t lose its fabulous history and appeal. John and the team at Lartington Hall are also just fantastic and put us at ease that we had chosen the right venue on our first meeting.

www.joestenson.co.uk

Simple elegance was our theme. We aren’t a fussy couple, we don’t really like lots of bling or making a big statement so we wanted the day to reflect our personalities. It was all about having a traditional, English country wedding with everyone we love around us having a relaxed day and loads of fun.

www.joestenson.co.uk

I’d always wanted my bridesmaids to wear navy dresses, however when we decided on a spring wedding we were worried they might look a little wintery. Rather than change the colour of their dresses, we decided to lighten the colour palette by having beautiful spring flowers in shades of light pinks, purples and blues. The stationary, cake and groomsmen’s accessories all followed the lighter spring colour theme.

A Chic Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Joe Stenson (1)

I wanted a simple, classic and elegant dress. After trying on loads, I finally found my one at Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique in Beaconsfield. My dress was Anna by Augusta Jones. It is a structured ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, waist defining sash, and a full skirt, made in cream coloured Satin de Chine. I chose an organza overlay skirt also by Augusta Jones which I wore for the church service with a satin edge cathedral veil. For the evening I changed my sash and wore an Austrian crystal sash called Virginia from Ivory & Co. to give me a different look. My shoes were by Emmy London and were customised with mother of pearl T-bar.

www.joestenson.co.uk

Chris and all of the groomsmen wore traditional navy tails from Moss Bros. Chris wore an ivory waistcoat and cravat, while the groomsmen wore silver waistcoats and Creswell pink cravats. Our nephews (aged seven and ten) had top hats to match their suits.

The bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses in ‘midnight’ which we purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. They matched these with silver sandals and were each given a silver bracelet to wear on the day.

On the wedding day Sally Ward from La Belle Vous, did hair and makeup for me and my three bridesmaids. She did a fantastic job and was lovely to have around on what could have been a very stressful morning! Everyone looked gorgeous but most importantly felt really good after she had worked her magic.

www.joestenson.co.uk

We hired traditional cars from Brooklands Wedding Cars in Durham, to transport all of the wedding party. My mum and I travelled in a 1930s Beauford convertible in navy and cream. The bridesmaids travelled in a 1920s Regent Landaulette in navy and cream, and the groom and family travelled in a cream Daimler State Limousine.

As we met in Nottingham and moved to the south and with Chris’ family being from Hampshire, the vast majority of our guests had to travel to our wedding. Because of this we wanted to put on a coach transfer from the hotels they were staying to the wedding and back again. We organised this through Enterprise Travel, based in Darlington.

www.joestenson.co.uk

When it came to booking a photographer, we contacted Joe Stenson who was based in Leeds and he travelled to meet us for an initial chat. We instantly knew we had picked the right photographer. He is hugely talented with a very laidback approach and was an absolute pleasure to have as part of our big day. We can’t stop looking at our photos – they are just fantastic and really capture what a happy, fun day it was. We would highly recommend Joe, and his colleague George, who also photographed our day.

www.joestenson.co.uk

Kirsty and Katy from Darling & Green, created all of our flower arrangements for church and venue and our bouquets and button holes, Hydrangea were our main theme for the flowers and these were arranged along with a selection of ranunculus, tulips, astrantia, allium sphaerocephalon and hellebores, following our spring colour palette of light dusky pink, soft shades of pink and purple with touches of very light blue and soft foliage.

Darling & Green arranged all of the venue flowers as well in the same theme as above. We had hurricane vases with candles and flowers and tall goblet vases with flowers on alternate tables. We also had mantelpiece arrangements of flowers and candles in the main ball room as well as vintage bottles containing hydrangea heads dotted around the different rooms of Lartington Hall. At the church we had the archway into the church decorated with willow and our chosen flowers, pew ends of hydrangeas and pedestal arrangements containing flowers and candles.

www.joestenson.co.uk

Jill Ellis who owns Hope You Can Make It, in Middlesbrough, designed all of our stationary in shades of the pinks and purples of the hydrangeas so the theme was continued through to the table plan, table names, menus and place settings.

We created a table plan using an antique picture frame, antique keys and old luggage tags. Guests were invited to ‘find the key to their seat’ from the keys hung on the table plan and on each individuals key was the name of their table. We also purchased a drop top guest book where guests could write messages on wooden hearts and post them in the top of an oak frame to create a keepsake of the day.

A Chic Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Joe Stenson (9)

On our recent trip to Paris we fell in love with traditional Parisian macaroons and so decided to give these as favours to our guests. Chris Burnett at Burnetts 4 Cakes, created traditional macaroons in blush pink and each guest had two macaroons presented in a gift bag at their place setting.

Chris also created our cake. We wanted a simple, elegant, statement cake with oversized tiers and squared edges. Chris took our ideas and created a stunning cake. Each tier was a different flavour: fruit, carrot, chocolate orange and red velvet. The tiers were very plain with ivory icing, except for the bottom tier which was covered in intricate blush pink iced frills. My only regret was I didn’t get any! But we have saved the fruit tier so there is still hope!

Following canapés served during the drinks reception, we had a wedding breakfast of Smoked Salmon to start, Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings for mains and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. In the evening we had hog roast sandwiches served on the dance floor in large baskets – not to interrupt proceedings!

www.joestenson.co.uk

To provide entertainment during the church service we booked Dr Robin Harrison, who is a fantastically talented organ player, and his choir The Bobby Dazzlers. They performed while we were signing the register and were very popular among the guests. We then hired Purple Supper Band for the entertainment back at Lartington Hall and they played jazz piano during our drinks reception, followed by two very lively sets by the band and the DJ finished the night off. The dance floor was full from start to finish!

www.joestenson.co.uk

To make the wedding all the more special, we invited our immediate wedding party to stay with us for the weekend at Lartington Hall, which has 12 beautiful bedrooms. We had a lovely rehearsal dinner on the Friday prior to the wedding and the Saturday preparations were very relaxed as everyone was in the same place.

We would absolutely recommend Lartintgon Hall to all. It is a truly stunning venue, but also the team are so friendly and accommodating – nothing is too much trouble. They make the weekend an extremely relaxing one so the wedding couple can concentrate on enjoying their special day. We could not have asked for more from them.

The wedding service was obviously very special to us, but I think our favourite part of the day was walking into the ball room at Lartington Hall to greet our guests for dinner and seeing everyone together for us – we also got a huge cheer which was fantastic!

www.joestenson.co.uk

Neither I nor Chris had been to Asia or the Far East so we wanted to visit this part of the world for our honeymoon. We chose Vietnam with a one-night stopover in Singapore on the way home. We were away for three weeks and had a fabulous time visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Halong Bay with a ten day stay on a private cove at the fabulous Six Senses Resort Nimh Van Bay. The best things we did were a Vietnamese cookery course, conducted in a tropical garden and a private dining experience in a cave for my birthday. Singapore was a fabulous end to the trip as it was a total contrast to the cities of Vietnam with its modern infrastructure, sky scraper buildings and super clean streets.

www.joestenson.co.uk

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – lists, lists and more lists! I make lists in my sleep so this was the way I organised myself during the planning stages. On the day itself, I would say make sure everything is done by the day before so you can really relax and enjoy every little second of the day – it is over so fast. Also, take a step back and observe just for a few seconds at different stages of the day. It is such a blur when it’s all over you will be pleased you took mental pictures of everything that is going on around you.

I can honestly say it was the best day of our lives!

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a fine romance. an italian inspired wedding with touches of lace at eshott hall – rachel & jonathan

August 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (59)

Though today’s couple remained in the north of the UK to tie the knot, they looked to the dreamy country of Italy to provide romantic influences to help set the scene for their big day.

A soft colour palette of pink and white reflected through Rachel’s choice of bridesmaid dresses and blooms created an elegant feel which was further enhanced with pretty lace additions in the bride’s dress, the stationery and décor.

When the big day came to an end, Rachel and Jonathan continued their love affair with Italy by jetting off to Venice on a five-day honeymoon. Oh, and the lucky little things have a second honeymoon to Mexico all lined up too. Jealous much?

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (3)

rachel says: We initially met very briefly at a bar in Darlington. Two weeks later we bumped into one another whilst out with friends in Yarm – the rest, as they say, is history! We had been together for five years when Jonathan proposed whilst we were on holiday on the island of Thassos in Greece, back in August 2013. He popped the question to me whilst we were sipping cocktails in a little bar overlooking the sea. I of course said ‘yes’ and we spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne and celebrating our news with the locals. I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning and amazing setting.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (12)

We got married on 4th May 2015.  We both love every season for its uniqueness but chose May for our wedding month as we thought that the scenery at the chosen venue would be beautiful at that time of year. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the 4th May is also known as ‘Star Wars Day’ to its fans. Luckily all guests dressed suitably and there was not a fancy dress costume in sight!

We got married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. We found the venue from an article I was reading in a magazine. The article detailed how Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had visited the hall for his brother’s wedding and had stayed in the Crow’s Nest, a luxury self-contained apartment. We were amazed by the pictures of Eshott. We both fell in love with the stain glass window and staircase in the main part of the hall. We arranged an appointment to visit straight away.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (4)

Our theme was Italian romance as we wanted the day to be very elegant. To complement the theme we had a blush pink and white colour scheme with touches of lace, which emphasised the soft romantic feel we were looking for.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (15)

I had a few ideas of the type of dress I wanted and visited a number of bridal boutiques before going back to one of the first dresses I tried on at Dobinsons of Darlington. The dress was very ‘me’. It was a lace design with a sweetheart neckline by Stella York. I always knew I wanted lace and something figure hugging due to my petite frame. I decided to add a unique feature to the dress to make it my own and so Dobinson’s stitched a diamante belt into the gown. This finished it off perfectly and when the long veil went on, I was totally in love!

On the wedding day I used Paul David Hairdressers in Darlington to style my hair, and Make-up by Jo to do the beauty side of things. My makeup stayed fresh all day, and Jo gave such a professional service.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (21)

Jonathan wore a three piece blue suit hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.

The bridesmaids dresses were purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. Again to add some uniqueness to the dresses we purchased embellishments for the dresses and Poppy’s added these for us. We all agreed they looked perfect.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (23)

Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography took our wedding day photos. We knew from day one that they would be our perfect choice as they were the photographers at my sister’s wedding some nine years earlier. We both love Stan and Jane’s work and knew they would capture our very special moments. The experiences, from the pre wedding shoot, to the big day and then seeing our wedding pictures presented to us on a big screen, were all amazing. We felt that both Stan and Jane put in a lot of effort getting to know us. On the day they both made us feel at ease and felt like one of our friends. Having received our photos we would highly recommend Stan Seaton Photography. The photographs captured both myself and Jonathan’s personality and also special candid moments. We wanted the images to be elegant and romantic and we both feel that Stand and Jane instinctively understood this.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (34)

Due to our ceremony being held in the chapel, which was within the grounds of the venue, we did not have a need for transportation, however I was taken to the chapel in my father’s car which was beautifully decorated with wedding bows.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (35)

Our invitations were made by Polina Perri, who specialise in luxury/ vintage wedding invitations. They were beautifully presented and featured an antique brooch and lace.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (38)

Our flowers were provided by Eliza Bloom in Darlington. My bouquet was made up of pink and white roses. In the reading room/ chapel we had a tall candelabra with an arrangement on the register table and outside we had an arch decorated with flowers. In the wedding breakfast we had eight table candelabras with candles and flowers and an arrangement at the top table. The room looked so elegant and beautiful. When you see all the little touches coming together it really does take your breath away.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (45)

We gave our guests ‘his and hers’ favours in the form of alcohol miniatures; Baileys for the ladies and a selection for the men. For the children we had a chocolate pot from Hotel Chocolat.

Our cake was a work of art created by Burnett 4 Cakes and had a different flavour in each of the four tiers: chocolate orange, chocolate, lemon drizzle and sponge.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (54)

We choose the Chameleon Band to provide our entertainment. We researched a lot of bands but these came highly recommended and they were worth it, they even asked us for a list of ‘special songs’ for them to learn which they then played on the night. We also had a pianist playing at the reception, which was beautiful.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (63)

Following our wedding I would highly recommend Eshott Hall to other couples. It not only blew us away, but our guests can’t stop talking about it!

Our favourite part of the wedding had to be seeing each other for the first time on the day. We had spent so long preparing for our wedding day, that when the moment came and we finally saw each other we both got very emotional, as did the congregation.

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (64)

When it came to the honeymoon we were spoilt and booked two! We went on a five night break to Venice, straight after the wedding. We loved it, we transferred to and from Venice in a private speedboat and stayed in an amazing hotel Carlton on the Grand. Our room there overlooked the Grand Canal – it was truly amazing, we felt like royalty. We had some fantastic experiences in a variety of excellent restaurants, a trip we will never forget!

We now look forward to heading to Mexico for two weeks, where our days will be filled lounging on the golden sands by the beautiful sea and then on an evening we will be spoilt with some amazing food in some fabulous restaurants sipping cocktails at the Excellence Riviera Hotel as husband and wife!

A Romantic Wedding at Eshott Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (67)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be to savour every moment as the day goes by so quickly.

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sunny delight. enzoani for an elegant outdoor wedding at middleton lodge – elizabeth & stuart

March 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

The unpredictable British weather is a concern for many wedding couples in the run up to their big day, particularly for those saying their ‘I dos’ outdoors.

Thankfully luck was on the side of today’s real wedding couple Elizabeth and Stuart when they tied the knot during a gorgeous wedding in the grounds of Middleton Lodge. I love the bright, breezy and relaxed vibes that come from this wedding and I’m sure you’ll agree Elizabeth looks stunning in her lace Enzoani gown.

Girl done good!

p.s. You can join Brides Up North for our Luxury Wedding Exhibition at this oh-so-beautiful wedding venue on Sunday 12th April 2015, 1pm till 4pm.  Click here to pre-register.

With images by Stan Seaton Photography.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

elizabeth says: We got engaged in Bali in June 2013 on the beach whilst having a romantic candlelit dinner on our last night of our holiday. Stuart got down on one knee and gave me a pretend ring!

When we returned we set the date for Thursday 24th July 2014. We always wanted a summer wedding and in particular to have the service outdoors.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

Our venue was Middleton Lodge, Richmond. We chose it simply because we both instantly fell in love with the lodge and its surroundings – the gardens are so beautiful!

We didn’t have a theme as such but used a colour scheme of champagne and natural shades to style the wedding.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

My dress was a lace fitted Enzoani design with scallop finish from Poppy Bridal. I chose it because I love lace and found the perfect dress for my maid of honour which complemented it and was also from Poppy’s. I wore Jimmy Choo Evelyn shoes and a diamond and pearl hair comb. I kept my jewellery simple with diamond drop earrings that matched my engagement ring and a diamond bracelet.

Stuart wore a Hugo Boss navy blue fitted suit from Cruise in Newcastle and teamed it with a champagne coloured tie and handkerchief from Affleck and Moffatt.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

My sister Claire, who was my maid of honour, wore an Alvina Valenta champagne full-length dress with a lace detail while my flower girl, my niece Isla, wore a lace dress from John Lewis.

Stuart’s best man his brother Craig wore a navy suit from House of Fraser as did the rest of the groomsmen. Their champagne coloured ties and handkerchiefs were from Affleck and Moffat.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

Myself, mum, sister and godmother stayed at The Coach House at Middleton Lodge the night before the wedding, which was a lovely start the celebrations. We walked over to Middleton Lodge in the morning for breakfast and pampering! Selena from Cocoon did my make-up as well as my mum’s and sister’s and Dianne Minnes did our hair.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

Jane and Stan from Stan Seaton Photography were our photographers which was a special wedding present from my godmother Lesley. They gave us many laughs and made us feel very comfortable but are extremely professional and we would recommend them to anyone – they are simply the best!

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

Both my sister and I had a cream roses in our bouquets and Isla had a flower wand. On the tables we had pink hydrangeas and cream roses on mirrored plates and crystals. Beth from Eliza Blooms provided all the flowers and they were exactly how we imagined them.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

For favours we gave each of our guests a slate heart with their name chalked on the front and the date of our wedding date on the back. We got then from Dotty’s Place in Richmond.

Our cake was a cream rose chocolate three-tier cake from Marks & Spencer.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

For the entertainment we had John McGeough playing chilled out sax whilst we had our drinks reception and The Imposters were our band for the night.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

The whole day was absolutely perfect. My best friend Rochelle did a beautiful reading at our wedding service that stands out as a special part of the day. I walked down the aisle to Stevie Wonder, My Cherie Amour, and our first dance was to John Legend, PDA.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

We would definitely recommend Middleton Lodge everyone as it’s so friendly and the team there work to such a high standard. It’s a special place that you can go back to visit after the wedding and recall such happy memories.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

We went to Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles for our honeymoon straight after the wedding which was very romantic! However, after being ill for three months after the wedding we decided we needed a second honeymoon after all the worry and celebrated again by going to LA and New Zealand in January.

Wedding Photography North Yorkshire

Our tip for other Brides Up North would be just to enjoy every stage. All the planning can be quite stressful but is also so much fun and you actually miss it afterwards so just enjoy every minute!

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home made. an English country garden festival wedding at Crook Hall – scott & claire

December 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (56)

It’s Friday, and after a whole week at home with my poorly baby (who is feeling much better, thank you) I’ve got the Friday feeling and then some.  Any post-work drinks will probably still be consumed in my kitchen, but if you are heading out to have some fun… I hope you have a good one.

Be inspired by Claire and Scott’s super fun day – totally done their own way – starting with an intimate ceremony for five, followed by an English tea party and finishing off with a full on festival.  Via a trip to the local, of course.

I like their style.

With images by Darren Mack.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (2)

claire says: We got engaged on Valentines Day 2012. We were spending the weekend in the country and whilst out walking Scott proposed on a windy hillside in Upper Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. Apparently he didn’t really know it was going to happen!

We were married on 9th August 2014. We wanted a vintage English country garden wedding so guessed that time may be the best chance of sun. It was a beautiful sunny day.

We chose Crook Hall & Gardens, Durham as our venue. Its very close to home, and just right as soon as we walked in. Its very English and has a great view of the Cathedral, beautiful gardens and and feels like a real home, which it is. It’s an incredible sight in summer with the gardens in full bloom.

The evening reception was held at Durham Amateur Rowing Club Boathouse on the river. It’s a small friendly spot with a campsite which we needed for all our camper van mates.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (13)

We didn’t want a wedding that didn’t reflect who we are. The day had to be nobody’s but our own. It needed to feel home made because it really was. We had a private family ceremony (five guests in total), tea party reception in the afternoon with live acoustic music, our vintage VW camper, a walk through the city centre featuring a pint in the historic Victoria Inn, and then a music festival theme on the night time with Scott’s band playing the music and our friends camping in their old VWs. This all reflected who we are and what we get up to in our lives.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (16)

There was no colour scheme to speak of, but colours that reflected vintage bunting and English garden flowers. The lads all wore fuchsia pink ties and music manuscript buttonholes, but it was all very unscripted.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (25)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (26)

I wore a fitted, elegant diamond white Maggie Sottero dress (Tia), with delicate, hand-sewn jewelled details.  I bought it from Poppy Bridal in Darlington.  It was the very first dress I tried on, nothing compared afterwards. It made me feel like a princess and summed up the look I wanted. Michele Bailey (of Wedding Hair and Makeup North East) took care of my hair and makeup on the day – perfectly.

Scott wore a sharp blue suit from Reiss with a fuchsia pink tie and brown brogues.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (28)

Our photographer was Darren Mack, who we highly recommend. He captured the true essence of the day without being formal. He captures off guard moments with ease and is truly a nice guy to have at your wedding. Top man Daz!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (31)

I chose an English country garden-style hand tied bouquet from City Blooms in Durham. The colours reflected the season.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (33)

For our reception, we decorated using our own vintage tea pots decorated with English flowers by my Mum. We also made our own bunting on our 1950’s sewing machine, plus all the table decorations for both venues made from old tin cans and jam jars decorated with raffia, lace and twine.

We gave out  jars of Scott’s homemade jam and marmalade in hand decorated paper bags.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (34)

We had a Pimms reception in the garden for afternoon guests with local real ale from the Black Paw Brewery, then full afternoon tea from Crook Hall which was stunning served on the lawn.  In the evening we chose local craft ale from Anarchy Brewery, Morpeth with a classic summer BBQ and ice creams (Scott’s mate’s vintage ice cream van) to go with the music festival theme on the river.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (37)

We chose a three tier round cake, decorated with vintage bunting. Scott’s Mum made the base fruit cake, and Michelle Fortune of Frotchy’s Cakes, Great Lumley, made the top two sponges and decorated the whole cake.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (41)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (47)

In the daytime we had friends of Scott playing acoustic music in the garden, with one of my friends playing harp music through afternoon tea and Luke Howells Magician entertaining throughout.

At night we asked Scott’s mate Steve Maddison to be on DJ duty to get things moving. Then we had a ‘group dance’ with all guests dancing to The Beach Boys ‘Wouldn’t it Be Nice’. We didn’t have a ‘first dance’. Then both of Scott’s bands played (including Scott); The36s playing classic rock and Shakedown playing vintage soul and dance. The entertainment reflected who we are and probably not what was expected but it went down great.

It was a real festival feel (and we even had festival lanyards)!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (49)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (57)

On the day we walked everywhere right through centre of city attracting spontaneous rounds of applause from strangers! A one point we even popped out to the pub to meet up with more friends!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (60)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (62)

There are so many highlights, it’s hard to pick just one! Firstly, the ceremony – walking out of the hall into the garden with my Dad and seeing Scott waiting for me.  Secondly, our guests arriving and the amazing afternoon tea with entertainment.  Thirdly – our walk through Durham – now that turned a few heads! Fourthly, our group dance rather than a first dance – it took people by surprise.  Finally, letting our hair down and enjoying the party.  It was the best day of my life! I wouldn’t change a thing.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (66)

For our honeymoon we did a Pacific North West of America road trip from the super cool San Francisco, via the jaw dropping beauty of Yosemite National Park, through NorCal wine country, up the pacific coastal highway, through redwood country, into beautiful Oregon for the best craft beers on earth, fantastic white water rafting, trekking through forests, climbing snow topped mountains, experiencing the incredible city of Portland and watching live music as much as we could. All in all a truly fantastic place to journey through.

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (69)

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (71)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t feel you have to follow a set routine. Your wedding day should reflect your personalities. Your family and friends will understand that and your day will be all the better and more relaxed for it. Be yourself!

an English Country Garden Wedding at Crook Hall (c) Darren Mack Photography (74)

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isn’t she lovely? enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge – sophie & jeff

August 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (34)

Ahh! Time for your Friday morning cuppa, bacon sarnie and wedding watching.

Friday mornings go so well with catching up on your favourite blogs, don’t they? It’s been a very pretty week here at Brides Up North HQ… take some time to browse… but we’re so excited to bid adieu to August and start our Brides Up North luxury wedding exhibition season with gusto this September and beyond.

One very lovely stop on our journey will be at the drop dead gorgeous Middleton Lodge in Richmond on 12th October 2014. Already gorgeous, this fine, exclusive use wedding venue has just added a brand new boutique hotel and restaurant to it’s offering.  It’s most definitely one with the wow factor, a date for your diaries, and just happens to be the beautiful backdrop to Sophie and Jeff’s wedding day, which we are happy to share with you this morning.

With images by Keith Moss.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (6)

Sophie says: We got engaged after returning from an amazing holiday in Egypt. I think my exact words were, “Just set the date!”

We got married on 3rd May 2014 at St Michael and All Angels church in Middleton Tyas, followed by Middleton Lodge. We found Middleton Lodge after I had provisionally booked another venue while Jeff was working away, and when he went to look around he didn’t like it (groomzila, I know)! I had removed Middleton Lodge from our search as felt it was a little bit too far for our guests to travel but once we went to look round, we fell in love with it. We found the church afterwards with the help of Anna, their wedding coordinator. The church was so pretty, it was perfect.

I picked a striped fabric for my bridesmaid dresses so styling wise, went down this route with pink striped bunting, orders of service and name settings. Our orders of service, name settings and table plan were all designed and created by my friend Christina. It all looked lovely, she did a brilliant job.

Colour wise, I prefer natural colours and trawled Pinterest for months looking for ideas for my bouquet! I went to my florist with a bunch of ideas and they came up with the gorgeous combination of muted pinks, greys and creams.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (25)

I chose an Enzoani dress from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I actually spotted it whilst out on Bridesmaid duties with my friend who was also getting married. I saw it on the hanger and knew instantly that was the one. I went back a couple of weeks later and tried it on and bought it the same day.

My shoes were Nicholas Kirkwood. I had spotted them in Las Vegas in the September but decided to wait and look once I got home. After trawling the internet and shops I still couldn’t get these shoes out of my head but I had called the Nicholas Kirkwood store and had found out the price –  I thought they were too expensive so continued looking for another pair. I came home one day from work to find them waiting for me! Jeff had ordered them for me as a surprise. I absolutely love them and will definitely wear them again.

My flowers were anemone, verbena and tulips which were created by Darling and Green. I also had a vintage badge attached to the lace on my bouquet as my something old, my mum gave this to me as she had worn the same one on her wedding day

Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Bakers Tailoring. We visited the store in Middlesbrough every Saturday for a month until he finally made a decision on which fabric he liked! Paul at Bakers sourced hundreds of fabric samples for us to choose from. The service was excellent and Jeff chose everything from the buttons,  to how many pockets he wanted and even had a J&S stitched into the blue polka dot lining. He is already planning the suit that he is going to order next!

The bridesmaids wore custom made candy stripe Kate Fearnley dresses and the groomsmen wore dark grey suits from Bakers Tailoring.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (22)

Our photographer was Keith Moss, who I met through a friend when we were working on a fashion project. He also lives in the same village as my parents, and was the photographer at a friends wedding, so I knew that I loved his style of photography. As we are both a little bit scared of the camera, we wanted the majority of our wedding shots to be natural. Also as we got married at 2pm, the last thing we wanted was to spend our wedding day posing for photos! We wanted to be there, and experience our day.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (18)

Darling and Green dressed our wedding reception. This included  a hanging flower ball and floral swag in the speeches hall at Middleton Lodge, cups which spelt out LOVE with flowers in them, petals and floating candles in the font, plus various scattered bottles and jars with flowers in. They also provided the flowers for our wedding cake.

I had also collected a selection of tea lights, plants, candles and lanterns which I used to decorate the venue. As we had the whole place exclusively to ourselves I wanted to decorate every single corner.

We also had Giant LOVE light up letters from Coco Luminaire which provided a fab focal point and wow factor on the dance floor and a Booth Revolution photobooth. To finish our day, we had a karaoke machine in the famous Middleton Lodge cellar bar!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (24)

Having good quality food at our wedding was very important to us and after eating at Middleton Lodge before the wedding, we knew that we would not be disappointed!

My cake was kindly made by my very clever Aunty Andria! We had four tiers of fruit, lemon, red velvet and Victoria sponge.

For our favours we chose personalised biscuits and macaroons for adults and disposable cameras, colouring books and toys for the kids.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (56)

We had Jamie Graham playing acoustic guitar during the day, followed by The Fallen band at our evening reception. We are really into our live music and we wanted a band which was going to get everyone up and dancing!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (58)

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (68)

My favourite part of the day was the speeches. We decided to do the speeches (father of the bride and groom) during the drinks reception. I am so glad we did this, as we wanted to day to feel laid back and not formal at all. We did the speeches on the staircase in the main hall and it was a lovely atmosphere and really got the reception off to a great start.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (71)

For our honeymoon we went to Sugar Ridge in Antigua. It was absolutely beautiful, I felt like I had jumped into a postcard once we saw the gin clear sea and white sandy beaches. The people were so friendly too and the food was fantastic.  Plus, we were often the only people on the beach! It was amazing.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (52)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get your wedding filmed! I wasn’t going to bother but a friend showed me hers and I was hooked! As she said – ‘You can snuggle up on a rainy day with some chocolate and re watch your wedding over and over again’

Our wedding was filmed by Adam Mendum.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (66)

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