February 13th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Rebecca & David’s relaxed wedding at the Priory Cottages was a family-friendly affair complete with bouncy castle, sharing dishes and stacks of sugary sweeties.
This laidback bride left some of her big decisions to the last minute and to fate – well, to trusted friends and suppliers. The result? Simply stunning.
The gorgeous Rebecca also has an eye for style – check out that dreamy Caroline Castigliano dress and jaw-dropping engagement ring. What can we say? Girl’s got style!
With images by Arabella Smith.
rebecca says: David proposed in 2008 when I was heavily pregnant with our first child, we went for a ‘baby moon’ at Hotel du Vin in Harrogate. He presented me with a box full of Love Heart sweeties (my favourites!) and which all said ‘Marry Me’! Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy – but the engagement ring made up for it! David had a ring made that was just like one we’d seen in Cartier that was way out of budget! I loved it, I still love it – in fact, I still find myself staring at it sometimes!
We joke it was the world’s shortest engagement as the next day my fingers swelled so much I couldn’t wear the ring again until after I’d given birth.
We picked 22nd October 2016 as our wedding date. Three children later, we decided we were ready to commit to organising a wedding. The date wasn’t significant; we were restricted on dates but we were really pleased with the idea of an autumn wedding. We didn’t want a summer wedding with any unrealistic expectations of nice weather and this was the week before schools broke up so we were all set to jet straight off on honeymoon.
Our ceremony was at All Saints Church, Wighill and our reception at Priory Cottages. We knew we wanted something relaxed and informal with lots of kids attending. I didn’t want to have to tell them to be quiet all the time and stop running around. I loved the idea of a barn, so we shortlisted a few within driving distance. The priory was the first David and I visited and, honestly, we knew when we pulled onto the gravel courtyard that this was the place for us. Needless to say, we didn’t even look at any other venues: the place is stunning. The staff are fantastic – I’m not the most organised of brides and they were really relaxed with me and so helpful when I needed it.
We both knew we wanted to get married in a church so the priory put us in contact with All Saints Church in Wighill. What a lovely bunch of people! We were treated like one of the congregation instantly and we definitely feel like we have a church we can call our own from now on.
Theme-wise, we didn’t really have one – other than ‘family friendly’ and ‘fun’. With colours, we opted for navy and blush pinks – and then the groom threw a wild card in the week before the wedding when he turned up with a burgundy tie from Paul Smith. I had to ring the florist to tell her but she was thrilled: dark reds are her favourite coloured flowers!
I bought my dress from Abbey Bridal Warehouse. I left it too late to go chose a dress from a luxury bridal shop and a few people had recommended Abbey Bridal. I picked about 15 and tried them all on but I knew there was only one contender for me. My criteria was ‘plain and simple’. No lace, no beads, no sequins and definitely no glitter. Actually, quite a difficult brief for a wedding dress. I saved the best till last: a Caroline Castigliano dress called Charm School. It had a sweetheart neckline and was floaty with a long train. So simple but it just felt amazing as soon as I put it on. I also wore a back necklace from Liberty in Love.
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August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding is yet another carefully crafted beauty with lots of pretty homemade and personal touches created by talented bride Jenny, along with the help of her equally talented family.
Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for the rustic theme Jenny had in mind, which featured lots of beautiful blooms in sweet, sugary tones.
And it wasn’t just the décor that the bride got crafty with, as Jenny made her own hair flower accessory and gorgeous statement necklace to complete her modern big day look. Fabulous work girl!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
jenny says: We got engaged in Malta. James and I love our cheeky getaways. I had no idea that on this particular one he planned to propose, it was such a lovely surprise! The proposal was very ‘us’ – low key and nothing extravagant. It was our first full day there, we were having a great day exploring the town, lunch and drinks by the sea and we had headed back to our hotel to get ready for the evening and have a few drinks on the balcony. I remember laughing and joking and saying what a perfect start to the holiday it had been, next thing I know James had disappeared and when he returned he was down on one knee asking if I’d be his wifey – it was perfect!
We chose to get married on 13th June 2015 as it was exactly two years to the date we got engaged.
Our chosen venue was The Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. Working in the wedding industry myself I read a lot of wedding blogs. This venue has always stood out to me as something special and it was the first place I mentioned to James when we got engaged. When we went to take a look around, I fell more in love with it and James had a cheeky little smile on his face. We both knew it was perfect and could see our special day taking place there.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but I have always wanted a ‘handmade’ wedding. I love making things and being creative so I literally saw it as a blank canvas that I could do all the things I love to. The result was quite a rustic-styled day.
We were not really strict on a colour scheme; it kind of just fell into place. I always wanted the boys to wear blue suits as I just think they look great. This helped me to decide on nude tones for the girls’ dresses then I pulled in my two favourite colours – coral and mint – and combined it with lots of peaches and whites.
My dress was literally the dress I always said I would never wear! So many of my friends said to me before I started looking to keep an open mind but I went to one bridal shop in particular because they stocked a gorgeous Mori Lee gown I had pinned as my dream dress for the past five or so years, even before we were engaged! I tried it on and whilst it was nice, it wasn’t wow. The lovely lady in the bridal shop made me try on ‘the dress’ just to see what it looked like. I wasn’t keen but I tried it on and it felt amazing! It made my mum cry so I knew it was the one!
To go with my dress, I scoured the internet and shops constantly to find the perfect hair flower. I couldn’t find one that I liked in the end so I thought why not make my own! I created it using some gorgeous silk flowers from Country Baskets, a hair slide and some small brooches to sit inside the flowers as the centre. I bound it with florist wire and ribbon. I also created a statement necklace by combining two necklaces from Marks & Spencer. I wore my outfit with some gold Kurt Geiger shoes.
My hairdresser’s partner specialises in wedding hair (they work at Fusion Hair Design) so he did mine and the girls’ hair. He did a fantastic job! My cousin Abi is a makeup artist so she did our makeup. Abi is so talented at what she does and I was so pleased with the finished look. The bridesmaids looked stunning and it lasted all day despite the hot weather.
We wanted to buy suits rather than hire. James wore a three piece from Slaters. It was a very fine puppytooth patterned blue suit. He wore with a tailored white shirt and a pale pink tie to match the bridesmaids. On his feet he wore some tan brogues which complemented the suit perfectly. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes as James but wore with a matching blue tie instead of pink.
The girls wore gorgeous pale pink dresses from Untold at House of Fraser. I wanted to get something they could wear again rather than a traditional bridesmaid dress. They were teamed with gold heels similar to mine from New Look.
Hayley Baxter was our photographer. When we initially began looking we were steering clear of the very formal styles as we both are not the biggest fan of being photographed and much prefer the more relaxed, creative style that Hayley produced.
We would 100% recommend Hayley. She has such a lovely personality – very warm and friendly. She instantly made us both feel at ease like we’d known her for years and she managed to produce the most amazing collection of natural photographs that we really never thought would be possible!
I had the bright idea of doing all the wedding flowers myself soon after we got engaged. I spent months and months researching and trying to figure out how it would work and eventually came across an amazing woman through a website called Flowers from the Farm. Gill runs her own flower farm not far from where we live so after a quick visit to see her and discuss, everything was confirmed and I was all set to pick up eight big buckets of freshly cut flowers two days before the wedding.
I really enjoyed making the bouquets and buttonholes. I used roses in peach and pink shades with white peonies and coral berries to add more colour. I finished them with some foliage and wrapped with jute string. For the buttonholes I used blues and green. The focal flower was nigella, which I absolutely love! I wrapped them with a small piece of hessian and they were secured with a heart pin.
For the table centrepieces my dad made us some amazing wooden log stands on two levels. I decorated and sprayed bottles with lace, hessian, ribbon and filled with flowers. Also I decorated jam jars as tea light holders and made hessian table circles for everything to sit on decorated with hearts punched from woodgrain card, Kraft card and an atlas. For the top table we had a hollowed out log filled with the left over flowers that my aunties helped with the day before – it looked amazing and was one of my favourite pieces from the day!
I have my own wedding stationery business, Only by Knight, so I created all the on-the-day stationery/invites etc. myself.
My dad wanted to bring a little bit of Liverpool to our Yorkshire wedding so we gave the gents a Liverpool ale as favours and the ladies got a bottle of fizz.
We had the most amazing wedding cake. I’m lucky enough to have a very creative family; it must run in our blood! My cousin runs a small cake business, Betty and Junes Bakery. She is amazing, super talented and I knew straight away I wanted her to make our cake as her creativity is endless!
I’m not the biggest fan of traditional wedding cakes so straight away knew I’d want something a little different. I love the hand painted cake styles and to fit in with our rustic theme we decided we would like the tiers to resemble logs. That was literally the brief I gave to Katie and she really excelled! It was absolutely exquisite from the cute love heart to the handmade sugar flowers. Each tier of the cake was a different flavour; we had lemon drizzle with jam and butter cream, raspberry and white chocolate and a chocolate layer. It was finished up with some fresh flowers and a laser cut cake topper that I sourced from Etsy.
We used Taste Cuisine as our caterers. They are really are amazing at what they do. James is from Leeds and I am originally from Liverpool so for the canapés we had mini ‘pans’ of scouse and beef with Yorkshire puds along with a couple of others. For the wedding breakfast we had a Greek mezze platter, followed by lamb shank then a mix of two desserts (three layer chocolate torte and white chocolate cheesecake) as they were just too good to choose between!
Straight away we knew we wanted a band to provide entertainment. I stumbled across The One Step through Warble Entertainment and I was just drawn towards them. The lead singer Nick also did acoustic sets so we had him singing through the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast. Our friends and family absolutely loved him. They were great as a three piece too. Everyone was up dancing and having fun, and we especially enjoyed our rendition of Mr Brightside at the end to close the show!
In terms of special touches, the table plan was one of my favourite pieces from the day! My dad made us the giant frame and I decorated with flower garlands. Each table was named after a place James and I had visited together. The board had an envelope for each guest with a postcard inside that I’d created of an image of James and I in that particular location. We asked our guests to write us a message on the reverse and pin it back to the table plan so it doubled up as our guest book. I am going to make it into a piece of wall art now so we have a constant interactive reminder of the day. My dad also made us the sign for outside the venue; I made stencils and spray-painted the wording onto it. I decorated with flower garlands again and it was a great touch to the exterior of the venue.
We would 100% recommend our venue to others. Serena first off is one incredible woman! She was always on hand to help with whatever we needed and she really helped us to pull everything together ready for the big day. The venue itself is absolutely stunning. The fact it has the cottages built around it made it such a memorable weekend, not only for us but for our bridal party as we all got to experience everything together.
Funnily enough the part of the wedding I was dreading the most was, the ceremony, turned out to be one of my favourite bits. I’m naturally quite a shy person so the thought of everyone looking at me whilst me and pops made our way up the aisle filled me with dread and I really thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I really did enjoy it and no tears were shed! That along with the speeches – which were just fantastic – and seeing all of our friends and family laughing, joking and having the best time together was really special.
For our honeymoon we decided to go to Central America. We both love to travel and James has been around the world. We went to Costa Rica and Panama. It was the most amazing experience. We saw and did so much in two and a half weeks and have memories that we can now cherish forever.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be organised! We had two years between our engagement and big day. I bought a wedding planner book, created a budget spreadsheet but still life got in the way occasionally and it was quite stressful getting everything ready towards the end! Also get stuck in! Try to personalise your day as much as you can so it’s meaningful to you and your groom. I can’t tell you how great it feels to sit back on the day and look at everyone admiring all the hard work you’ve put in. It was a very proud moment! Finally, accept help! I can be a terrible control freak and like to do everything myself in my own way, sometimes you need to let go and accept that it’s just not possible! Besides you’ll find that a lot of your friends and family want to get involved and help. I would never have finished setting up on time without the help of my nearest and dearest the day before, they were all incredible!
February 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Feature in Belle Bridal Magazine
It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it! As the editor these pretty pages I spend my days immersed in designer look books, wedding magazines and glued to my computer screen tracking down the latest trends and ideas in the wedding world, so my readers don’t have to. I also spend a lot of time meeting with industry insiders to discover the best services, shops and venues for brides based in the North of the UK. Super sleuth that I am, Belle Bridal Magazine sent me off to Yorkshire early last year with one mission, and one mission only – to check out their best wedding venues and come back to divulge all.
This county has so many stunning spaces for weddings and events that it’s almost impossible to choose between them (that venue hunt might take a long time!) but I share my top tips from the article – plus a few more favourite places – below.
Think Yorkshire and what comes to mind? Flat caps, rolling countryside, whippets? You’d be right, but as well as the ale and Yorkshire pud, this beautiful county – named as the top European destination by Lonely Planet for 2014 – is also fabulously diverse. Yes, it has it’s fair share of pubs (not necessarily a bad thing, more on that later) but it’s also home to stunning vistas, crumbling stately piles, chic city venues and fairy tale castles. There’s plenty to discover, but these are some of my very favourite spots.
Allerton Castle by Chris Chambers Photography
allerton castle (Knaresborough)
With seriously impressive features and beautiful surroundings this 18th century gothic castle will take your breath away. Dine, the Yorkshire based experts in providing exceptional weddings and events, work in partnership with the Allerton Castle team to deliver faultless perfection to ensure your wedding is special.
the mansion (Leeds)
From The Mansion‘s tree-lined drive to the sweeping staircase, panoramic park views and immaculately restored interior spaces, this exclusive use, boutique venue is wedding day perfection. One for the fashionistas, this city chic space has a stellar reputation for fantastic events and wedding
The Mansion by Joel Skingle Photography
swinton park (Masham)
This privately owned hotel is the perfect romantic retreat, and good food is guaranteed, for as well as fine dining Swinton Park boasts its own cookery school! Set in 200 acres of parkland, this secluded, ivy covered castle provides the perfect setting for a fairy-tale wedding. And if it all gets too much for you, just head to their superb spa… bliss.
hotel du vin (York)
This beautiful hotel in York city centre is housed within a Grade II-listed building that dates back to the early 19th century. With 44 stylish bedrooms and suites, trademark bistro, bar and private dining rooms along with a terrace, courtyard and inner forum for alfresco dining Hotel Du Vin York is a cool and contemporary sanctuary within the city’s ancient walls.
the feversham arms (Helmsley)
Cosy yet contemporary, this former public house and secluded luxury retreat in the market town of Helmsley is perfect for a boutique wedding. With stunning menus and an award winning spa, I’d have the honeymoon at The Feversham Arms too!
thorp perrow (Bedale)
An authentic private stately pile, with amazing manicured gardens and space for a grand marquee, this beautiful property wows all year round, but my top tip is a springtime celebration when the bluebell walk at Thorp Perrow will be in full bloom. Divine!
Middleton Lodge by Hayley Baxter Photography
middleton lodge (Richmond)
Fancy your own country mansion for your wedding weekend? Middleton Lodge has that covered. Boasting Yorkshire’s only outdoor licensed space in the midst of rolling countryside, Middleton Lodge and its 250 acre Georgian estate offers the perfect setting for a traditional country wedding party with a modern twist.
denton hall (Ilkely)
An authentic stately pile, nestled right in the heart of God’s own county, Denton Hall offers an idyllic rural settic in 2,500 acres of stunning private parkland. Just add your own Mr Darcy, and you are good to go!
East Riddlesden Hall by Lissa Alexandra Photography
east riddlesden hall (Keighley)
With ceremony space in the Great Hall of this historic Grade I house and a reception for up to 180 in their fabulous converted barn, the National Trust estate at East Riddlesden Hall offers plenty of options for creating a bespoke and beautiful day.
bolton castle (Wensleydale)
Bolton Castle is a spectacular medieval fortress, preserved in outstanding condition and situated in the heart of peaceful Wensleydale. For a celebration full of atmosphere, Bolton Castle has to be at the top of your wish list.
Braime Pressings by Lee Scullion Photography
braime pressings (Leeds)
Ok so, I’m a little biased, but this authentic vintage venue in the heart of Leeds has been in my husband’s family for 125 years and only now is it open to the public for weddings and events.
The working factory’s stunning listed canteen, used to host public meetings and dance parties during two World Wars (with a separate upper floor for ladies!), has stood almost untouched for 50 plus years. With its original historic features, marble bar and parquet flooring, Braime Pressings offers a completely unique space for wedding celebrations.
the kp (Hull)
A stylish and contemporary space that can accommodate up to a whoopping 400 guests, The KP is one fabulous blank canvas for a bride and groom who want to create their dream day.
Priory Cottages by Helen Russell Photography
priory cottages (Wetherby)
Like a little piece of Provence in Yorkshire, this exclusive use barn and marquee venue is my destination of choice for summer soirees, and oh so cosy for winter weddings too. A huge bonus is the cottage accomodation on site at Priory Cottages which means that you and your party can make a whole weekend of the festivities.
oulton hall (Leeds)
With impressive grounds and an incredible 18th Century mansion on your doorstep, it’s hard to look past Oulton Hall. Factor in the serene spa space and beautifully manicured golf course for him indoors and I’m pretty much sold.
Nostell Priory by Peter Boyd Photography
nostell priory (Wakefield)
Space for ceremonies in the huge house, an outdoor drinks reception in the rose garden or orangery and a wedding breakfast in the newly refurbished riding school, beautiful Nostell Priory has it all. Set in gorgeous National Trust grounds and with the fabulous Dine events team on site, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.
the deep (Hull)
The Deep is one of the most exciting aquariums in the world, home to a whopping 3,500 fish including a pair of Green sawfish, magnificent sharks and rays, but also one of the coolest wedding venues in the UK. Make a splash by choosing somewhere completely different for your celebration.
Check our Brides Up North Directory for more brilliant venue ideas in Yorkshire and beyond.
January 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Priory Cottages near to my adopted home town of Wetherby in North Yorkshire is one of my favourite local venues, and I always get a warm welcome from their team when I pop in to pay a visit. I’m used to seeing the venue dressed for spring and summer celebrations (not least the fabulous wedding of one of my best girls, Charlotte – you can see her big day here), but it’s lovely to see how special and sparkly this place looks on a late autumn day.
Jude and Colin’s wedding brought all the brightest colours of nature inside for a stylish, cosy and heart warming day, filled with fun. My absolute favourite kind of celebration that there can be.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, and all round lovely lady, Helen Russell Photography.
jude says: We got engaged on 25th August 2013. Col had originally planned on doing it on my birthday earlier in the month but the ring wasn’t ready, so plan B was when we were visiting my best friend in Derby. Little did I know but they were all in on it. He proposed in Matlock in a cable car on our way up to the Heights of Abraham. Our friends Manda, Chris and their little boy Vinnie were there too so we got some great pictures of the proposal. I had just found out that I was pregnant so the champagne picnic was enjoyed by everyone else!
We were married on Friday 7th November 2014. We both love the autumn and the vibrant colours associated with the season are beautiful. We were hoping for a crisp cold sunny day! We got the rain instead!
We tied the knot at All Saints church in Wighill. It was small and cosy but beautiful. We attended the church in the year prior to the wedding and all the locals were so friendly. The reception was at The Priory Barn and Cottages, Nr Wetherby. We fell in love with The Priory as soon as we visited it. The barn has been restored and the old architecture of some of the buildings is beautiful. Serena the owner was fabulous from start to finish, we immediately knew that she would be on hand to help, which she was. We wanted a venue that was different, we had been to nine weddings in the past 14 months and didn’t want to marry somewhere our friends had done so.
We chose an autumnal/rustic style. I’m an outdoorsy girl and love nature and a natural feel to things. The table centre pieces were slices of logs we had gathered with skeleton leaves and Chinese lanterns. We used mini pumpkins were as table numbers. We had kilner jars with candles standing on upturned logs dotted around the venue and some old driftwood was used. We used a lot of hessian and lace and candlelight.
Our colour palette was purples and oranges – gorgeous vibrant autumnal colours that complement each other
My dress was from the Bridal Rogue Gallery in York. It was a Pronovias dress, ‘Leonde’, a tulle mermaid style made from Chantilly and Guipure lace. It had crystal, pearl and gemstone embroidery below the bust. I fell in love with the dress immediately. I wanted something classic and vintage and loved the lace and open back. I wore it with a borrowed vintage fur and Diane Hassall lace shoes. My mum bought me some beautiful diamond earrings which I hope my daughter Ava may wear one day.
I used Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup. Lisa is fantastic at what she does, I’ve had my hair and makeup done several times by her and it always looks immaculate. She is fun to be around and after a long sleepless night with a teething 10 month old she worked miracles!
Col wore a navy blue three piece suit from Ted Baker. He bought a pocket watch which finished the suit off beautifully.
We wanted something different from a traditional wedding car so opted for a 1967 ivory VW campervan called “Summer”. This was hired from The Yorkshire Wedding Car Company.
Helen Russell was our photographer. We would definitely recommend her. I was introduced to her at a friend’s wedding and immediately warmed to her, she has an amazing ability to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. We loved her vintage style, she has a great passion for her job and you really get the feeling that she wants to give you the best images she can. She managed to capture the romantic yet fun mood of our day. We had a pre wedding shoot with her and took our daughter Ava and Col’s son Elliott along… she was great with the children.
Wendy at Paperwhite Flowers provided our flowers. She is such a professional and so passionate about her job. She knew exactly what I wanted and goes above and beyond. My bouquet was a wild hand tie with lace and a decorative vintage key. It had creamy white vendella roses and superbubbles, spray roses and buds, large dolcetto roses, purple and plum foliage, orange rosehip, fountain grass, purple lisianthus, rosemary, astrontia million stars, birch and willow twig and was wrapped in fine green ivy.
Paperwhite provided all the flowers, dressed the top table and provided a large pumpkin filled with beautiful flowers and asparagus grass. I wanted a messy looking arrangement rather than something too structured. It was perfect.
They provided two beautiful pew ends with wild flowers for the church which we used at the barn afterwards and chrome lanterns which we used in the church then back in the courtyard and barn.They also dressed upturned logs with kilner jars and candles wrapped with ivy trails and Chinese lanterns and placed them around the barn.
AV Matrix dressed the barn in fairy lights. This was done before we even got there on the Thursday to get ready.
We had lots of purple and cream paper lanterns to hang from the marquee roof, Col and my bridesmaids Manda and Sarah spent most of the afternoon hanging them!
My mum made 120 hanging love hearts to hang on the backs of all the chairs. Our guests took these home and it’s so lovely to see them hanging in our friends’ homes. She also dressed our chairs in hessian and lace, they looked so pretty.
We had Cancer Research pin badges as favours as this is a charity close to our hearts. The men had blue ones and the ladies had the Elizabeth Stuart silver leaf pins.
Taste Cuisine provided the food and we went for a real ‘winter warming’ menu for the wedding breakfast. At the evening reception we had a hog roast served with cheese and homemade pickles and chutneys from my parents.
A very close friend of mine, Ronni made our cake. We had fruit cake (to compliment the cheeses at the evening reception) and chocolate cake. It was decorated with sugar blackberries, maple and oak leaves and wrapped in a fine hessian.
We lit a memory candle at the church which we took back to The Priory and had on a table with photos of our grandparents and those that are sadly longer with us.
I had some daisies incorporated into the flowers and my bouquet in memory of my Auntie Daisy who died of leukemia.
We used Dave Spink Videography, the girls who worked at the wedding were very friendly and professional, I didn’t even know they were around at times, we can’t wait to see the finished DVD.
Without the help of my parents the day that we had wouldn’t have been possible. They have spent so much time making things and helped to get the venue ready and looking as beautiful as it did.
Howard Wing was our wedding singer- what a legend and absolute gent with an amazing voice and talent to entertain! I came across him on a wedding blog and after speaking with him immediately knew we had to book him. We certainly weren’t disappointed, he had the whole place bouncing before the starters had even finished… I’ve never been at a wedding where people are singing and dancing on the chairs before dinner ends! Brilliant! So many people said ‘best wedding we’ve ever been too!’
We had dance floor rules and flip flops for the ladies, these went down very well…the following morning we found several pairs of shoes left in the marquee!
It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the day. I was so happy that my dad walked me down the aisle as only a week previously he had suffered a heart attack and we were unsure whether he would be able to make the wedding. I bought my dad a hanky and had it embroidered and gave it to him before we left for the church. It said ‘I may have found my prince but you will always be king, thank you for walking with me today’.
Col’s face when I walked down the aisle was priceless, he looked so emotional.
My favourite part of the reception most definitely has to be when Howard had us all doing the Love Train around the marquee before we had even had dessert, even the waitresses got dragged into it… it was fantastic fun.
We chose to go to New York for our honeymoon, having a 10 month old going away for two weeks just wasn’t an option, but thanks to grandparents and aunties and uncles we were lucky enough to have 5 nights away.
We have both always wanted to go, so it was the perfect choice. We loved it. We managed to do almost everything we wanted. We would love to go back one day and check out all the lovely restaurants, bars and of course do some shopping!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that the day goes so quickly so take some time together, and take a step back (easier said than done) and watch your guests having fun.
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September 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s been a really inspirational week or so here at Brides Up North HQ. We’ve kicked off our lovely autumn season of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions with a really beautiful (and record attendance) bridal show at Hilltop Country House yesterday, launched our exciting new industry concept, The Circle, at a glittering party last week, and have been making travel plans to attend the three award ceremonies that Brides Up North is nominated in this year (The Wedding Blog Awards (“Best City Blog”), The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”) and the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”), if you’re asking…)
There’s something in the air, and I’ve definitely got that raring to go, ‘back to school’ feeling.
One professional engagement that I’m really looking forward to is joining my friend and industry colleague Cat Hepple at another of her wonderful workshops for wedding photographers. I was lucky enough to speak at Cat’s last event and catch her in action, and left feeling really energised and extremely inspired. This time I’ll be reprising my session on blogging, social media and offering my insider advice to help you to get your work published in blogs and magazines.
This girl definitely has the golden touch, and I’d love for you to join Cat and I at her next workshop on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at the gorgeous Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire.
Images by Cat Hepple Photography, shot on location at her last workshop.
Cat says: Do you long to have a more editorial and fashion feel to your wedding images, but don’t know how to achieve this with your couples? Do you struggle with posing, ideas, working under wedding time pressures?
My one day workshops for photographers show you my techniques on a wedding day, from directing my couples, to working with light and creating a consistent editorial feel to the full collection of images.
Other topics covered include;
– How to market yourself to clients who want the fashion feel
– Branding and visual identity
– Equipment and technical approach
There’s always a live shoot on the day, allowing you to build your wedding portfolio and advice on getting published too.
The next workshop is on the 23rd September 2014, at the Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire, and I’d love you to join us.
Here’s what some of our last delegates said from our spring course…
“I absolutely loved the day at the workshop with Cat!
We were completely spoilt beyond my expectations…. through the thoughtful little touches such as our handwritten letters, cute notebooks and stellar food, alongside the fact that Cat had gathered a fantastic team to produce the styled shoot and help us not just get some really specific and useful practice but also really high quality images to use afterwards! All of this made me feel really valued and respected, and totally relaxed in that environment to chat and learn.
On the shoot, it was great having the time to break down the thought process of how an image is made. There was so much attention to detail, and I really began to understand why each of these things mattered, which I know will help me to remember the issues in the future. Cat was incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and ideas, and we all had a lot of fun at the same time.
The information before and following the shoot was massively thorough as well. I had no idea we were going to cover such ground, but honing in on a developing this specific ‘editorial’ style it became apparent that that would affect all aspects of your business! With this at the core of the discussions it felt like everything was that much more relevant, so instead of general advice, I was working out exactly what I would need to do next for me, which was refreshing and rewarding.
As a bonus it was great to get to know some more people in the industry! Julia, you were as generous with your knowledge and attention as Cat was and I couldn’t be more grateful! I’m feeling very energised still right now and keen to apply what I’ve learnt. Would definitely recommend the workshop to anyone considering!”
from Eleanor Woodruff
“I would just like to take this opportunity to offer a heart felt thank you for allowing me to attend such a wonderful day.
You made us all feel so very welcome, and the whole day was perfect – from the Venue, Styling, masses of information & guidance… right down to the smallest details like the bespoke stationery – such a lovely touch!
I particularly enjoyed the section where we explored the images we had chosen, this really was a brilliant opportunity to take a step back and consider our own styles and where we aspire to be.
A huge part of the day which I took away with me was the guidance around use of light & posing…I loved seeing you in action and am already putting into practice a lot of what you taught us.
I loved the fact that the day was really interactive – and not just a case of being talked at. Julia coming along was also really great – and such a brilliant opportunity to meet her in person and hear what she had to say.
I have followed your work for such a long time now – and am thrilled that your Workshop lived up to and surpassed my expectations!
I really do want to take my business to the next level and the course has really given me the confidence and tools to do this.”
from Hayley Baxter
That link again? Click here.
December 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime
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!
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