Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
It’s a special one for me today as I’m sharing the wedding of two of my very best friends – Charlotte and Smithy (known formally as Matthew, Mathlete or whatever Charlotte feels like calling him). Sod the leftover baby-weight, I was honoured to be a bridesmaid at Charlotte and Matt’s amazing, sun dapped celebration at the stunning Priory Cottages in Wetherby.
A woman who knows her own mind, Charlotte’s wedding was never going to be the same as everyone else’s. Matt proposed on a group ski trip February 2012 and after all the excitement had died down, Charlotte looked me in the eye over a cafe au chocolat, and asked me to be her bridesmaid, adding:
“I’m going to ask all the guys to wear coloured chinos, and I want everyone in featherhead dresses and a rainbow cake”. This was going to get interesting…
Budget summits – “Jules, persuade Matt that I need the Jimmy Choos, he listens to you” (she got them, he does) – dress dramas – a thousand “talking it over” cocktails and a million Pinterest pins later, the wedding day arrived. And I have to tell you, it was one of the most beautiful days that I have ever seen. From a professional wedding blogger, that’s saying something. The brand new Mrs Smith isn’t just a pretty face!
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Richard Wynn Davies.
Charlotte says: Matt asked me to marry him in February 2012, in an igloo in Mayerhofern whilst skiing for Jules’ 30th! We tied the knot on 6th July 2013 at our local church, Saint Mary’s of Stainburn then reception was at Priory Cottages, Wetherby.
Originally we wanted to wed in the South of France. The venue looks like it could be in the South of France; It is gorgeous, it is a blank canvas (you don’t have to follow rules e.g what you have to drink, what the room will look like – rules which sometimes hotels impose) and you can exercise your creativity as you please. I wanted our wedding to be unique and creative, and we felt it the venue was perfect for this.
Serena, the venue manager is amazing… I think that’s the only word for her.
We asked our guests to wear loud and colourful chinos – we wanted the photos to look colourful, a little crazy and be lots of fun. In the evening I asked people to bring masks… for our own masquerade ball. We wanted to keep to tradition but shake it up a touch.
Our colour theme was colourful (!) and we went with nude/ pale pink colours, for bridesmaids. We then added bold colour in the marquee with duck egg blue and turquoise.
My flowers were bright pastel colours, as was our cake. I didn’t stick to a specific scheme as such, I just tried to use complementing colours, and colours that worked well with skin tones and together.
I fell in love with the Jenny Packham Aspen, the moment I saw it. It was the second dress I tried on. After weeks trying on many other dresses, it confirmed that Aspen was for me! The dress was stunning, comfy, and light, just what you need on a hot summers day. I was very conscious of not feeling too hot, or restricted. And, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t corseted so I could eat as much delicious canapés, plated BBQ and fish & chips!
I then chose a gorgeous sparkly pair of Jimmy Choos – I worked on the basis that I can wear a fabulous pair of shoes again and again; this is better than spending a smaller amount on a pair that will only get used once. Pounds per wear!
I wore my grandma’s grandma’s silver clasp bracelet. It was my ‘something old’ and made my outfit really special.
I then added a long veil, with crystals which was sparkly in a subtle way and I had a pearl hair slide hand made by a designer in Yorkshire.
The bridesmaids wore wrap dressed by Eliza and Ethan at Pookie, Harrogate. The girls had gypsophila in their hair and wore nude shoes of their choice.
Our groomsmen wore specially commissioned bow ties, Paul Smith style in pink floral, suits from Marks & Spencer & brightly coloured braces (the brighter the better- of their choice).
I had a hand tied bouquet of beautiful pastel flowers; roses, herbs and peonies.
We travelled by vintage Rolls Royce. My mum also had a vintage Daimler, and the bridesmaid travelled in a vintage VW Campervan.
The whole day was amazing, from getting ready, to the church, throwing confetti, the food, the dancing… I would have to say one of my favourite memories was arriving at the reception, following the church and seeing everyone in the courtyard waiting to greet us!
The driver sounded his horn, and everyone cheered and waved. The colours were spectacular, we were handed our blue cocktails, and we could hear the steel band playing.
We had a BBQ and the summer Olympics (sports day) the night before the wedding. This was great fun and was a chance to catch up with guests ahead of the wedding. This was a great tactic!
We made our own cake- well Matt and my grandmas made the cakes! I chose a traditional fruit cake. It was decorated by a family friend, and was going to have white chocolate truffles on the side in pastel colours. However, because the weather was so hot, we had to change the truffles last minute to icing! The cake also leaned a touch!
The wedding party spent hours tying 100 lanterns to the marquee roof with ribbons, and tied ribbons to the chairs. More hands make light work, and I think we did a great job!
I had to ensure we had fabulous food and drink all day. This was the most important thing for me- great food. We used MCK Catering.
We had a plated BBQ of fillet steak, lamb and prawns, with sauté potatoes for our wedding breakfast. Friends of Ham, Leeds supplied the beer. We chose a Yorkshire white wine, which was delicious- Lethenthorpe.
Later on in the evening, we wanted people to have traditional beer munchies- fish & chips with a twist. (tapas with lime and chilli batter).
Our wedding favours were bags filled with a coin, a teddy bear, a piece of string, a marble a rubber and a heart. Inside was a special message relating to the reasoning behind why the object was included e.g.:- ‘a marble, because we all seem to have lost ours’ ‘a piece of string to bind us together wherever we are in the world.’ The cost of the wedding favours went to a school in Ghana.
We chose a string quartet for the church, a Caribbean Steel Drum band for the reception, and for the evening we had a band.
We honeymooned in the south of France (I secretly wish I was French!)
We stayed at the Hotel Crillon Le Brave in Provence (stunning) saw the Tour de France Stage at Mont Ventoux, visited lavender fields, went horseback riding and then drove in a sports car to the Fairmont in Monte Carlos, via St Tropez, Cannes and Antibes. We chilled out & drank cocktails and hit the Casino of course! We then took the helicopter back to Nice airport.
Fantastic trip; can we do it again?
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t be afraid to break the mould and try non- conventional ideas. People will raise eyebrows, but be true to yourself, do what you want to do. You’re a unique individual couple, so be creative!
Congratulations Charlotte & Matt!