January 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Urmila and John’s two day celebration was a weekend of contrasting cultures, and a great excuse for two beautiful parties in one!
I can’t decide if I prefer Urmila’s traditional, romantic styling for the Catholic wedding day, or the colourful, bejewelled Hindu celebration that followed a day later. One thing is certain – this was one fabulouswedding!
With images by David West Photography.
urmila says: John proposed to me in a particularly embarrassing and public way at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh. He sent each table a note asking them to sing along to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ by Andy Williams at 9pm, after which he would pop the question. So at 9pm, led by one of the waiters (who pretended it was just part of a Christmas tradition), there was an impromptu sing song, just before he got down on one knee and proposed in front of a restaurant full of people. My shock (he had thrown me off the scent two weeks earlier by telling me he could not afford a ring, having actually had it made a couple of months beforehand!) was captured on camera by another customer in the restaurant and posted on Youtube. John won the ‘Most Romantic Groom’ competition for Brides magazine for his efforts.
We had always wanted to celebrate both our cultures so decided on a two day wedding celebration over the summer bank holiday weekend (24th and 25th August 2013). The venue needed to be big enough, available over that weekend, have rooms for people to stay, and allow for external Indian caterers. Redworth Hall Hotel in Newton Aycliffe fit the bill perfectly, and was beautiful to boot.
We had a lot of unusual demands; having an Indian ceremony caused complications and chaos, but Vicky Dewdney and her team there were absolutely amazing. I would thoroughly recommend them as both a hotel and a wedding venue.
The 24th was our Catholic ceremony, where the theme was classical music, champagne and opulence. We stuck to neutral colours such as pale pinks, ivory and gold, with the odd splash of dark red in order so it was not too ‘girly’. We chose classical music as we are are both keen musicians, and met through John’s father being my music teacher at school.
My dress was bought from the ever inspiring Wendy at Bridal Wish in Corbridge. Named ‘Balira’ by Pronovias, it was strapless and lace, customised with extra lace and crystals through the bodice. I had tried several gowns on but was particularly assured and impressed by Wendy’s customer service and brutal honesty! This was teamed with some very contrasting blue leopard print Christian Louboutins and a cathedral length single tier veil with crystal detailing by Joyce Jackson. The bridesmaids wore dusky pink Twobirds dresses (with my sister wearing a bespoke necklace by Emma Hedley jewellery bought online and the guys wore contrasting navy blue morning suits hired from Waltons Formal Menswear Hire in Newcastle.
We got married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Wycliffe (John’s family’s church for a number of years). Each pew was dressed in a dusky pink chiffon material, with candles, lamps and petals by the side of each, while our aisle consisted of a white runner. The altar was dressed in the same pink chiffon with white roses around the base. The church and venue decorations on both days were designed entirely by Zoe Pierson and her team at Kelly’s Event Boutique. Her imagination and commitment are second to none and She and her team put everything together, listening to our thoughts and bringing them to life, down to the most intricate details. We could not have picked anyone better for the job.
Our ceremony was both emotional and fun. We had personalised poems and a lot of emphasis on music. John arranged the diverse music for Arco String Quartet, a small band including guitars and drums and Cantoris choir led by Stephen Pettitt. We even high fived when the priest said we were now husband and wife!
Our stationery was bespoke and based on the Moet and Chandon label. Everything, from the order of service to the menu plan was created by the extremely talented and committed Stef Chambers at Squarepeg Design. She even put together the comical ‘Hoy Wuh’ confetti packets.
Our wedding breakfast was held in the truly magnificent Great Hall at Redworth Hall Hotel. It was decorated in different kinds of chiffon, numerous candles, flowers and mercury tea lights. The mixture of high and low centrepieces and carried on our musical theme thanks to Kelly’s Event Boutique. The table names were our favourite classical composers written on manuscript, but bearing the Moet and Chandon crown, and we even had real miniature violins and tiny pianos as some of the centrepieces!
Each guest had an individual fact about them tucked into their table napkins (which bore bespoke luggage tags with their names in the champagne theme), to encourage mingling between everybody. It took a lot of arranging beforehand, but really got people talking!
Our best man’s speech featured a room change and was delivered by Jamie Miller and the very creative James Craggs of Roundhouse Productions. It featured a slideshow, a hilarious ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ style audience Q and A, and even had personal messages from Eamon Holmes, Edith Bowman and Alan Shearer (to name but a few!)
Our beautiful cake was a four tier creation by Mrs Robinson’s Cakes based in Manchester and we partied into the night with Andy Nesbitt from AM DJ Services as our DJ. Our first dance was choreographed by Neil at Newcastle Dance Centre.
My sister made a guestbook with individual envelopes for people to write messages. We also had a beautiful personalised knife with which to cut the cake, bearing our initials in English and Bengali and made by one of our wedding guest, Henk of Henk’s Woodwork.
As favours guests were given a ‘Recovery Bag’. In each bag was a mixture of painkillers, hangover food and a personalised NHS ‘prescription’, made by SquarePeg design (as I am a Doctor) with humorous instructions on how to combat Saturday’s excesses, and then prepare for more of the same!
Our second day was our entirely different Hindu wedding. The theme was based around fuchsias, purples, blues and fun, loosely termed ‘Bollywood Bling’.
We started the day with the ‘Gaye Holud’ ceremony where the bride and groom are covered with turmeric to make their skin ‘glow’. Traditionally the bridal party wear yellow saris to this function, and the bride is officially ‘given’ to her new husband’s family. This proved to be extremely emotional for my mum and I. Thereafter the girls went to get dressed into our saris whilst the boys had a football match in the grounds.
The bridal party wore saris purchased from Kolkata. Mine was a particular Banarasi silk popular in West Bengal, and eschewing the traditional red colour was violet and adorned with real gold jewellery. The bridesmaids wore contrasting turquoise saris. The groom’s side wore purple Indian outifts, while the guests loved the opportunity to dress up in something different.
Our ceremony began with a grand and noisy entrance by the groom’s family along, to the beat of the Indian Dhol performed by Apnabeat Entertainment. John however was quickly stopped however by the bridesmaids who demanded a bribe to let him into the venue.
The Hindu wedding itself was conducted under a ‘Mandap’ with plenty of colour, laughter and involvement of the audience by the priest. We provided beautiful, bespoke orders of service, which explained the ceremony, produced by Angela McGurk at Graphic Embers. She created all the Hindu stationery, based on purple, blue and pink Paisley design, but with a twist.
The wedding breakfast decor was a mixture of purples, gold and pink. Each guest’s name tag was written in both English and Bengali. We had tanks of flower petals for the top table and the centrepieces were mixtures of floating flowers and tall vase arrangements. Our seating plan consisted of individual place cards on top of a table with an adorned bronze Ganesh.
Our Indian meal was provided by Saibal Maitra at Vujon restaurant in Newcastle which we would thoroughly recommend.
We also wanted to give the guests some Bollywood bling, so we gave them ‘Bindis’ and bangles. They were so much fun that even the boys got involved!
As we had already done a first dance the previous day we instead decided to do a first ‘tune’. We therefore did a comical piano duet which consisted of plenty of hand swapping and running around.
The evening party kicked off with a wrestling match between the men from both sides (a bit unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed) egged on by our Dhol players, before we went onto a Bhangra workshop (again provided by Apnabeat entertainment). We then danced the night away with a DJ and the band Funk Conspiracy (who were particularly good sports as we were running very late and their drum kit almost got destroyed by two people wrestling!).
All in all, it was a two day wedding full of contrasts, surprises, colour, tears, laughter, love and a hell of a lot of fun!
Our photographs were captured by David West of David West Photography along with Kristin Moat who were simply astounding in their commitment and enthusiasm. Their pictures are just beautiful and their professionalism and hard work were just amazing.
Our video was captured by hdmoments.com and can be found here. I had not met the team until our wedding day and was highly impressed with their work in capturing all those special moments. If your budget can stretch to a videographer, I would definitely recommend one!
Our honeymoon was to Bali where we literally lay and baked for ten days; after that weekend, we certainly needed it!
We were so delighted with how our wedding went. There were lots of small things that went wrong, but the reality is that none of them spoiled our days, and things that would have bothered me at the time I cannot even recall now. My top tip for other Brides Up North is if you have plenty of food and drink, good suppliers and most importantly awesome family and friends, then everything else will just fall into place.
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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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October 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m trying to embrace the season – hollowing pumpkins, fur lined boots, fireworks parties and thoughts drifting to Christmas lists… and then a wedding like this drops into my inbox.
Vicky and Matthew, what are you trying to do to me? Let’s soak up some sun, as we join this lucky Manchester based couple for their stunning destination wedding on the white isle.
No hard feelings. Not many, at least.
Images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.
Vicky says: Matt proposed to me on a random Wednesday evening in August 2013. Matt took me by surprise and decided he would take me out for tea and an overnight stay in Manchester, this immediately roused suspicions but I continued pretending I had no idea. After dining at Australasia, Matt took a me back to the Great John Street Hotel – At this point I believed the proposal was not going to happen, but on arriving back to the room I found rose petals scattered on the bed and a bottle of champagne and strawberries awaiting me arrival. Needless to say tears of joy flowed and more alcohol was consumed.
We were married on Wednesday 27th August 2014 at Elixir Shore Club in Cala Codolar, Ibiza. After doing a 3 day long recce of our favourite Island (somewhere we frequent regularly) we settled on our final appointment ‘Elixir’. Not only were we blown away by the views (tears flowed again) but Vickki who was both the owner and in charge of running the venue, was the most welcoming, friendly person we had encountered so far.
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed and informal to suit the Ibizan vibe. After losing my father in 2013, I decided I would prefer a very informal affair where friends and family could come together and celebrate the event without it being a stifling ‘traditional English’ wedding.
We opted for bright colours so they would stand out against the Ibiza beach backdrop.
I decided to wear something light and comfortable, particularly with the time of year and the obvious heat expected in Ibiza. As it happened, our wedding day apparently reached temperatures of 43 degrees.
I purchased my dress from Bride by Swarbricks in Middleton. The dress is named the Pronovias ‘Pelicano’. The lady who looked after me also holidays in Ibiza every year so we had a lot to talk about during the fitting stages.
Matthew wore a powder blue cotton suit from Next, ideal for warm temperatures. The best man and ushers wore the same suit in a different colour.
James Tracey was our photographer as recommended by friends. We were blown away by his images of our friend’s wedding, particularly the contemporary edginess and just knew we had to book him.
All flowers were silk and created by Nicola Knight in York. All our guests brought a bunch of flowers with them, along with copper sprayed Kilner jars for the flowers to sit in on the tables. We gave away the flowers at the end for guests to keep as a memory.
All the decoration on the day was completed by family and friends, Molly, Phil and Amanda Newton, Rosie and some serious ribbon tying from Steven Grainger.
Our favours were created by Echo Designs and consisted of handmade hanging hearts with printed maps of Ibiza on them.
We opted for a very laid back cake, a favourite of ours, a Victoria Sponge made by my sister in law Molly in a villa microwave oven – it took a few attempts but tasted delicious!
We chose the luxury wedding BBQ as arranged by Elixir and we can honestly say it’s the best food we have ever tasted and many of our guests agreed. The BBQ was served as a buffet style again taking on a more relaxed feel to the day.
My mum pre-recorded her own performance of ‘All of Me’ by John Legend which was played as we walked back up the aisle. We prepared all other music ourselves and had a DJ, Steve later in the evening who was recommended by Elixir.
We used Kids in Ibiza to look after children who cared for the children perfectly. One of the guests was stunned to see her daughter being pushed around in her push chair by the babysitter so she was able to eat her evening meal. A close friend Heidi Heywood, prepared children’s party bags for the kids which they loved!
Una, who manages the weddings at Elixir, paid perfect attention to every single detail and everything ran so smoothly we couldn’t have asked for anyone better. We would 100% recommend our venue to anyone looking to enjoy a wedding on the White Isle.
We have just returned from a two week honeymoon, which consisted of one week touring Sri Lanka and one week in the Maldives on the island of Kuramathi. We had a cultured week in Sri Lanka then a week where we truly relaxed in the Maldives where we had the opportunity to snorkel with tropical fish and sharks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff (or big stuff) and enjoy every minute.
September 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a distinct “Tuesday feeling” for much of this morning (the direct opposite of the Friday feeling, which is far nicer). I’m not sure if it’s a come down from the heady mix of industry and bridal events, high heels and glitter whirlwind that I’ve been spinning around in for the past week or so, but today’s huge to-do list of deathly dull admin left me feeling meh.
That’s until I started putting today’s real wedding feature together.
Stacey & Michael’s beautiful celebration at North East landmark venue Wynyard Hall reminded me exactly why I love this job and that however many VAT returns I have to chew through, I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Get ready to pretty up your Tuesday and get lost in lace, blooms and birdcage veils…
With images by Foster & Foster Photography.
Stacey says: We got engaged in October 2012. I was meant to have some annual leave from work, but had been very busy at work and consequently had cancelled my holidays. Unknown to me, Michael had planned a couple of days away. I phoned him from a work to let him know and when I got home from work, I changed into my pyjamas and began to prepare dinner. He nipped upstairs and reappeared in our sitting room on one knee and proposed.
He said that he did it because now he was uncertain as to when we could go away he couldn’t wait!
We were married on 8 March 2014. We knew we did not want a long engagement and 16 to 18 months felt about right.
I didn’t want a typical summer wedding as I envisaged the bridesmaids wearing fur capes outside. We plumped for early March as it was likely to be past the worst bits of winter (heavy snow) but still chilly.
We chose Wynyard Hall, Teeside as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the North East as this is where most of our friends and family are. We also knew we wanted an old venue as this suits our taste. We visited lots of venues, but when we drove up to Wynyard we were blown away by the building and its grounds. When we went inside and seen the amazing stain glass ceiling with grand piano below, I was sold.
When shown around, we liked that we could use three different rooms through the various stages of the day and have our own bar area. The terrace on the right was exclusively ours and allowed our guests privacy. In addition Wynyard had amazing bedrooms to accommodate our immediate family and friends, whilst being near enough to other hotels for other guests. It is an incredible venue, with lots of places for amazing photographs as well as creating the perfect atmosphere.
The team at Wynyard were very helpful and friendly and we knew we’d be in good hands on the day. Chris, our master of ceremonies, kept everything on track and did an amazing job. Maggie our wedding coordinator was very attentive, answered all my queries well and efficiently and everything went smoothly on the day.
Given the venue, I chose lace and, in hindsight, a vintage theme. The boys’ ties were a soft sage green and the bridesmaids wore nude. The flowers then picked up on these colours with ivories and soft peach. I wanted to go for pale colours and tie everything into the lace that I had chosen for the tables.
I wore a fishtail lace Pronovias dress in an off white colour (Diago). I bought it from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. I knew that my preference was for a dress with straps/sleeves and no “bling”. When I tried this dress on, the way it moved made me feel amazing and the lace detail was spectacular. Every dress I tried on after it I kept comparing to this one.
What Katy Did Next made me an amazing bespoke birdcage veil. It had a large ivory flower with pearl centre and jewelled leaves on either side. The small veil was then detachable after the ceremony. Her expertise and skill was second to none, as was her service. She also made me some heart shaped shoe clips in ivory so that my shoes were unique!
Michael and the rest of the bridal party wore a mid grey three piece suit hired from Mia Sposa. We bought white shirts from TM Lewin and bought the ties with matching pocket squares from an online retailer.
I had the bridesmaid dresses made to measure by Eve and Adam in Newcastle. They were nude coloured, sleeveless maxi dresses made to my specification. I chose to do this as I had two adult bridesmaids and two children (13 and 9) so it was difficult to find an off the shelf style to suit all. I also wanted a dress they could easily use again.
I had a bouquet of white lilac, champagne, soft peach and ivory roses and ivory peonies.
Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle provided these and they were amazing. Helen at Katherine’s really understood my vision and worked with me to achieve the look I wanted. She understood that I wanted to use fresh flowers but peonies were out of season at this time so she sourced high quality silk ones which you would not have known were silk when in the arrangement.
The bridesmaids carried very similar bouquets, with more soft peach shades and slightly smaller.
All of the groomsmen had button holes of champagne roses, along with Michael’s grandparents and mum. My mum had a pearl wrist corsage with a champagne rose which was beautiful.
We cannot praise Sarah and Mark enough for the huge part they played in our wedding day. We were recommended to use Foster and Foster Photography by several friends and from the minute we contacted them for a quote the service we received was exceptional!
They met with us prior to the wedding to understand the approach we wanted for our photos, get a feel for our wedding and just get to know us in general. They guided us on the optimal way of getting the crucial group shots we wanted whilst also allowing us to spend time with our guests.
On the day they were very much in the background, but still managed to capture amazing images! They made us feel very relaxed throughout the day. Michael in particular was nervous about being put into staged shots and feeling uncomfortable, but Sarah and Mark really made us feel at ease. They were brilliant at taking the group shots we wanted without being intrusive into the natural flow of the day.
The finished product was beyond our expectations and the follow up service has been exceptional! They sent us a small sample of their shots the day after our wedding which was amazing as we were jetting off on honeymoon. They then quickly produced a slideshow to send to our friends. All of our friends and family adore the images and commented on how well executed the photography was on the day.
We also opted to have an album and they worked with us to include all of our favourite pictures. More importantly they used their expertise to produce a professional finish which flowed well and captured all elements of the day. They also helped us to get some extra shots printed for our family. Small things like arranging specific times to deliver our disk of photos and album (to ensure we would receive them quickly and in perfect condition) really added to the already exceptional service.
I would not think twice about recommending Sarah and Mark as any couple’s wedding photographer. The service was faultless and they are a lovely couple who work incredibly well together. We are very lucky to have such amazing pictures from our special day!
We did not want people to sit on certain sides in the ceremony so had a personalised framed picture made saying “Today two families become one, choose a seat not a side”. I reserved the first two rows of the ceremony room for immediate family, bridesmaids and groomsmen and had names badges made which I used as place names in the ceremony room.
Down the aisle we sprinkled petals and had white lanterns with big candles in them which looked amazing.
In the room where we were married we had to two tall slim vases with large ivory hydrangeas. These were moved to our wedding breakfast room after the ceremony. Each table had a centre piece with tall vases containing a combination of the bouquets flowers with some ivory hydrangeas.
The top table had several small vases and jars dotted along the table with one or two of the bouquet flowers picked out. There were then five circular vases into which my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were dropped before the wedding breakfast. These were all supplied by Katherine’s Florists.
In addition, as part of our wedding package, Wynyard supplied a floral pedestal display and a floral spray for the registrar table in ivory colours.
I made some vintage style ladders for the table plan which were very unique and stood out next to the piano. We also had a table of family wedding photos next to the piano, which was brilliant as some people had passed away and it was a way to recognise them.
I also had made some extra frames with M&S in as well as some Mr and Mrs signs. One of my bridesmaid’s bought us a Mr and Mrs Hall sign for the top table which finished it off perfectly! She gave it to me the night before which made it an extra surprise!
I hired Posh Chair Covers and Bows to do the lace bows and hoods on the chairs as well as lace runners down the tables which fitted perfectly with the theme!
The cake was one of my favourite things! It was off-white to match my dress and covered in flowers in pale green, peach and ivory to match my colour theme. They cascaded down the cake and were more closely gathered near the bottom.
The bottom layer was fruit cake made by Michael’s brother (and the best man) who is a chef. There were then two layers of chocolate cake and one of vanilla. It was made by a family friend, Sue Hall. We also had a huge stack of cupcakes to match the main cake as cupcakes are a favourite of mine!
For the wedding ceremony and drinks reception we had a piano player Mark Deeks of Music Newcastle. We knew we wanted to use the grand piano in the main hallway where guests would be chatting. It was the perfect accompaniment to our ceremony and Mark provided an excellent bespoke service! He took requests on the day which our guests really enjoyed!
On the evening we had a local band, The Fontains. They were better than we could ever have hoped! They performed our first dance song “Read My Mind” by The Killers and the arrangement was fantastic! The atmosphere they created was beyond what we could have hoped for!
My favourite part was walking out of the wedding ceremony to the drinks reception because I was officially married to Michael, everything looked perfect and everyone seemed to be having a brilliant time.
I felt I could relax as everything had come together as planned!
For our honeymoon, we went to Barbados for two weeks. The first week we spent on the west coast near Holtown self catering and the second on the south east coast near St Lawrence Gap.
The weather was perfect for us as it was hot with a breeze. We explored the island in the first week, visiting various places by bus and foot. This included going on a catamaran cruise and Landrover off-road island tour.
The second week was absolute luxury in an all inclusive Sandals resort which was amazing and very relaxing after the hectic wedding build up!
One of the last things we booked was a wedding videographer, Ben at HNE Media. It was one of the best decisions we made as it allowed us to relive the day and listen to the speeches again. Ben was brilliant and the final product was perfect!
As my top tip for other Brides Up North I would definitely recommend splashing out on a videographer.
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June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
When Brides Up North reader Stef first contacted me asking if I’d like to share her Real Wedding memories, she made it clear that she was extremely proud to have planned her big day whilst sticking to quite a narrow budget (in comparison to the “average” spend), and very much wanted to show other Brides Up North that you can have the day of your dreams without getting yourself into debt.
It might mean that there aren’t any “getting ready” shots or images of Stef and Rich’s wedding breakfast to share today (they had mates ready with a camera for those bits instead) but it did mean that they start their lives together money-worry free. An excellent trade off, in my opinion. They don’t seem particularly put out by the lack of all those “details” that we are conditioned to think should make up a good wedding either.
C’mon, I’m a wedding blogger – it goes without saying that I love a huge blowout bash – but I like a refreshing (and savvy) approach too. Don’t be afraid to work out a budget for your big day and then – here’s the clever part – stick to it. If there’s money in the pot and you want to, go large (and send me the photos!), but if you’d rather save a few pennies for rainier days, that’s fine too.
Kudos to you Stef, your wedding looks like it was awesome.
With images by Emilia Smith.
Stef says: We got engaged on holiday in Bulgaria. We went on holiday with a group of friends, their children and my step daughter. Rich said he wanted to take me out for a meal on our own.
Next thing I know a horse and carriage pulls up. I knew instantly what he was up to. I was so nervous… but very happy. He asked me on the carriage. We didn’t go for dinner as we decided to go back to the hotel, buy champagne and celebrate with our friends and later we all went for a wonderful meal on the beach.
The ring was perfect! So different and so perfectly me.
Our wedding date was 29th March 2014. I ran York marathon in October 2013 and after the marathon we walked round York and saw York Registry Office. We went in and had a look. We both instantly knew that was where we wanted our small ceremony to be. We paid the deposit without a second thought.
We picked vintage blues and pinks and went for a tea party style. I love pink and we like to coordinate outfits a lot (yawn!) so we naturally went for pink and blue.
I wanted a tea length 50’s style dress. I found it at Deborah Moore Bridal and it was by Pronovias. I was originally going to get a high street dress or a bridesmaid dress as our budget was so small but I went with my best friend to try on dresses and saw “my dress”. It was in the sale at more than half price but it was a full length gown. We played around with some pins and I decided to buy it and alter it. I was so delighted with it and it is still hanging over my bed! It fits with my style perfectly… it’s different but still elegant and very “weddingy”.
My husband got his suit from the internet. It was extremely cheap but we ordered it and had it altered. He wore all blue with a blue dickie bow and his favourite blue suede brogues.
As we were on a strict budget we asked all our guests to wear what they wanted and informed them of the colour scheme and theme of the wedding. Our friends and family know us well and all followed our wishes.
I had my beautiful step daughter as my flower girl. We got her (unworn) dress from a second hand bridal shop called Bridal Reloved in Beverley. She wanted a dress similar to mine and we wore matching shoes that we won on an auction site and I bought pink near shoe clips to jazz them up.
My photographer was a friend of a friend. Her name is Emilia smith (freelance). She was brilliant and we had such a wonderful experience with her
I wanted silk flowers mainly to keep them forever but also as they cost much much less. I found a lady who makes bouquets on Etsy and I emailed asking for a custom order. I sent her pictures of our shoes and general theme and ordered two bouquets, a hair clip, and a button hole for my husband.
I made button holes for the guests from wool and pipe cleaners. I was super pleased with how it all turned out. The registry office had flowers of their own and we didn’t feel the need to have any more.
My mum made wooden spoons with bells and ribbons on… this was for the guests to shake and wave when we came out of the ceremony room. They were a fun and quirky idea and the kids loved them.
We opted for a champagne afternoon tea at the Grange Hotel, York.
I was very informal, with no seating plan. We arranged sofas and comfy chairs so people could sit with who they wished and it was very relaxed.
For our evening shindig we served curry and cake. We had such a wonderful peaceful day – we wanted our night party to be a good knees up and it was!
The best part of the day for me was having the photographs in the city with just me and my husband.
We got a lot of attention and it was so much fun. We wanted the photos to be fun and capture our personalities and we wanted them to be natural. The weather was fantastic and it was such a wonderful buzz. We were on cloud nine!
We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon. Again we were on a budget and we shopped around. We did lots of activities like wine tasting, camel riding and had a spa day. It was a lovely hotel and as it was “out of season” the value for money was unbelievable… ultimately all that mattered to us was a bit of sun and seven days to be together. Everything else was a bonus.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want and don’t do things because they are expected. We feel that people spend a lot of money on things that are forgotten. We had a budget of £3000 and that had to include the honeymoon. We had a wonderful experience and we are now married and we don’t have any debts to pay. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for favours… we did and it was the best move we made, and also included them in our day.
Congratulations Stef & Rich!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Emilia Smith
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