January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Can we all just pause for a moment please and admire today’s bride’s beautiful wedding style? From her bejewelled headband to her full length veil and beaded gown, this lady looks like she’s straight off the catwalk.
And her boy doesn’t scrub up badly either, does he?
Carly and Louis’s super stylish, yet relaxed tipi celebration was full of fun, blousy blue blooms, twinkling fairy lights and special little touches. Just lovely.
With images by GS Studio.
carly says: We were on a snowboarding holiday in Sauze D’oulx, Italy for New Year’s 2013/2014. Half way down a gorgeous tree lined slope, snow coming down on New Year’s Day, Louis stopped me saying he needed a rest, when we stopped, he flipped over onto both knees (still strapped in) and pulled the little box out his pocket.
We set the date for 6th September 2014, we chose it hoping it would be a good day for the weather, it was so nerve wracking getting married in a tipi, it could have gone one way or another!
We got married in a tipi supplied by the fantastic Unique Tent Company in my parents’ garden. It had always been a dream of mine ever since they bought the place, they weren’t quite as excited as I was when I came to them with the idea, but they came round in the end and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a real labour of love getting the garden ready.
We had a very natural, garden theme, it just fit with the fact we got married at home, very relaxed. Charlotte from The Finishing Touch Company and Helen at Bels Flowers really pulled the whole place together, it was an absolute wonderland.
We chose to go with blues and greys for our colour palette, the stone in my engagement ring is a star sapphire and blue-grey in colour so we decided to follow that.
I chose an Eliza Jane Howell full length gown with long sleeves in a heavily beaded 20’s style, I felt so glamorous the second I put it on, I knew it was the one. I bought it from Kathryn S Trueman in Morpeth and the girls were amazing!
Louis wore a three piece navy suit, tartan tie and some fabulous Grenson shoes from End Clothing, very dapper!
Our groomsmen, all TWELVE of them wore the same as Louis, and the bridesmaids wore the Ghost dye to order Chelsea dress.
Gemma Smith at GS Studio was our photographer and she was fantastic and followed exactly what we wanted. I can’t recommend her enough, everyone was so at ease, and the pictures are so natural, exactly what we wanted!
My dad bought a 1953 Ford Popular when I was about 3 years old and after a few fun trips as a child it sadly went into retirement when I was about 8 years old. Dad knowing how much I adored the old car secretly had it all fixed up, serviced, new wheels the lot as a surprise and we’re so lucky to be able to take our little wedding car for a tootle now whenever the weather permits all be it at a max of 20mph (which made the journey to the church that morning VERY interesting!)
Helen at Bels Flowers provided the most beautiful natural bouquets of hydrangeas, nigella, dusty miller and even included some herbs so the bouquets had the most beautiful aroma.
The Finishing Touch Company provided most of the internal decorations with bell jars and watering cans bursting with flowers on the tables, the festoon lighting and the blackboard seating plan were the piece de resistance from Coco Luminaire.
We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!
My mum’s best friend made the wedding cake, she’s so talented! I wanted an informal cake that really represented us so she made it look like an alpine slope with two little snowboard figurines on the top dressed in our wedding clothes, it was so special and absolutely delicious!
We chose a band called the Soundcasters from London, we’d heard them on the holiday in the Alps when we got engaged and couldn’t get them out of our heads, they had the whole place jumping every night, exactly what we wanted for our special day.
100% everyone we used were top notch, we didn’t hit one hitch throughout the day, largely thanks to the co-ordination from our catering team at Sheer Elegance Catering, Anthony and Chris ran the day like clockwork and Jane from Newcastle Falcons supplied the bar. She managed to come up with every request we had and didn’t run short of a thing on the night.
Snaparazzi Photobooths supplied us with one of their fabulous booths which went down a treat and Coco Luminaire supplied the large illuminated letters, they even managed to get them outside on the lake, it looked absolutely stunning! Bit-a-Sweet supplied the sweety cart and were kind enough to keep it stocked all night.
I couldn’t choose a favourite part of the day, I guess the speeches were pretty special though, I have the give my dad, Louis and all 12 best men their dues, we were in stitches!
After the wedding we took a two week snowboarding holiday in the alps, a little energetic for a honeymoon, but it was so much fun, we had a week alone and a week with friends, my stomach still hurts from laughing so much!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax, enjoy it and if you know you’re a worrier then give yourself plenty of time, it’s the most amazing day!
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 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime
Jancis and Casey’s choice of wedding venue was all about the memories – a special place that they could share with their friends and family on their special day and for years to come.
It’s one of our favourite venues here at Brides Up North HQ too and you can join us for our beautiful wedding exhibition here in April, but for now, let’s celebrate Jancis and Casey’s ‘catch of the day’.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
jancis says: Just after we met Casey promised that he would one day take me to Rome. Three years later we still hadn’t made it so while we were planning what to do for our anniversary I decided to have a look at flights. I never thought they would be reasonably priced but it worked out less than we could have spent on petrol if we had stayed in the UK. I floated the idea to Casey and with one thought of pizza and Peroni he was sold! We booked the tickets and off we went to a destination I had only dreamed of!
After three days seeing the amazing sights and eating fabulous food it was our third anniversary. We spent the day doing all the things we had wanted to do. We went to Castel Sant’angelo in the morning which had the most spectacular views of the Vatican City. Then walked down to watch the Pope hold his service and went up to St Peters Basillica. Casey had thought about proposing at the top but after the 320 steps and around 100 other people squeezed up there he decided against it.
After spending most of the day on our feet we decided to go back to the hotel room for a rest and to get ready for a lovely meal to celebrate our anniversary. We got all dressed up in our best clothes and Casey asked me to open a bottle of prosecco. We toasted three years together and Casey sat me down on the edge of the bed and started talking about how thankful he was and how much he had enjoyed the past three years. Before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I didn’t need to think about it the words just spilled out: “Of course I will!”
We were married on 25th May 2014. We chose this date as it was a bank holiday Sunday and we were asking our guests to travel from far and wide across the UK and the world to celebrate with us. We knew this would mean most of them wouldn’t need to take too much time off work, if any at all, or like us, they would be able to make the celebration into a week long holiday.
We were married at The Alnwick Garden, It is one of our favourite places to visit. Casey first took me there on a spur of the moment weekend away. I has been having a really hard time at work and got home one Friday night to him looking up b&b’s in Northumberland, a place I’d never been. He whisked me away to Warkworth, a village we have both now fallen in love with, for the weekend and decided to make the trip the gardens for the day. We both love that it is a charity, run by donations from other people who love to visit and enjoy the flowers and of course the fountain.
We wanted a venue where we felt like we were contributing to the local community and somewhere in the future we will be able to take our children and relive our special day.
We had been to a wedding in America the year before where the bride and groom had their first look before the ceremony. The photos were very personal and it meant that they got to spend their cocktail hour with their guests. Casey and I decided to do the same. Around 3 miles from our venue is a beach where we have spent a lot of time. We decided to head down there before the ceremony and have a first look moment. We took our wedding party to the beach and one of the bridesmaids cleared the area for us. A group of people started forming so it wasn’t the most intimate moment however it felt special and we will always have the memories of that moment.
The style we went for came from the venue we chose. The Garden is full of bright colours and earthy tones so we chose green, white and brown for our wedding colours inspired by the plants, the water and the hessian sacks the compost came in. Then when I found my dress I knew we had to include lace in the wedding and it added that much needed feminine touch to our plans.
We brought the garden inside with our centre pieces which we made ourselves, in fact almost all of the decorations were made by us. The table squares were hand cut and the lace added by Casey, the centre piece boxes were made by Casey, painted by me and planted together (the flowers from each box are now planted in gardens around the UK!), the bunting was homemade, the signs were homemade and even the favours too!
Less than a month after we were engaged I spotted a dress in Debenhams and decided to try it on just for fun. As soon as I put it on I felt beautiful and graceful (something I’m usually not!) and with the manageable price tag I bought it there and then. When I returned home I excitedly called my mum, unfortunately she was fairly disappointed she hadn’t been there so insisted she take me shopping with my bridesmaids so I could have the wedding dress shopping experience every mother dreams of having with her daughter. I agreed but told her I wouldn’t find one I liked as much.
On the day it felt like I tried on every dress in the shop so the lady who was helping me asked for three words to describe what I was looking for, “elegant, fishtail and lacy” I replied. The lady wouldn’t let me look in the mirror as she dressed me so when I walked out of the dressing room I hadn’t seen what I looked like. All of my bridesmaids were speechless and my mum burst into tears. A pretty good reaction when you don’t know what you’re wearing!
Unfortunately the dress was strapless and I didn’t like that feature so for the next half hour the shop assistants brought me lace, ribbon and readymade straps to try on with it. None felt right so I came away with just the dress and a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that even though it was the one, it wasn’t. It took me another 12 months to find the right material to make straps but I loved them when I did.
I carried a gypsophila and hydrangea bouquet tied with brown string and green ribbon which matched my bridesmaids’ dresses. They were supplied by Simply Flowers of Alnwick.
My bridesmaids wore a long, strapless green chiffon dress which was bought over the internet from a specialist bridesmaid dress designer.
I knew the most important part of the wedding, apart from getting married of course, for me was the photographer. I am an amateur photographer myself and have photographed a few friends weddings so I knew that I wanted the best of the best to photograph my wedding. I first saw Lissa’s work at a wedding fair in Leeds and fell in love immediately and knew I had to have this person as my photographer. When Lissa came back to the stand she was so lovely and helpful we booked her there and then. Other than getting married in the first place it was the best decision we made!
She was fabulous in the run up to, on the day and afterwards. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. My guests really enjoyed her company, she made everyone feel at ease and she captured moments that most people didn’t even notice happened. We couldn’t have asked for a better service!
We spent the afternoon before the wedding with a select few of our guests dressing the venue so it was exactly how we wanted it to be. All the effort was worth it, we love how it turned out and the small touches are what our family and friends still talk about!
My brother has set up his own upcycling business and made our ceremony décor, the bulbs with flowers in where his own creation and beautiful they looked too!
We gave out mini shot bottles filled with flavoured vodka. Casey and I met while working at Revolution Bar in Lancaster. Casey was the assistant manager there and I was working on the bar so it felt appropriate to incorporate that into our wedding somehow. We bought the vodka from the actual vodka factory where Revolution make the different flavours of vodka that they sell in their bars and decanted it into smaller bottles. It went down a storm with most of the guests although some found the flavours a little strong for them!
We chose a four layer cake: chocolate, lemon and raspberry, red velvet and fruit cake. All of which are our favourite flavours – we couldn’t choose between them. Our cake was made as a gift by Casey’s cousin Leanne. She is a professional cake maker and brought it all the way from Reading for us! She decorated it in a new style she hadn’t tried before for us so but I think you’ll agree she did an excellent job!
We had been to a wedding a few years ago where they had a live band, after having a brilliant time we decided this was the way forward for us. We spent hours on the internet listening to previews of different bands and finally found a band that made us want to dance.
The Shakedown Band North East made our wedding incredibly special. They kept the dance floor full for the whole evening and we have had numerous people come to us asking for their contact details. We would highly recommend them for a great night of dancing!
Our bridesmaids and a few friends decided to surprise us with a flashmob! They recorded a video and sent it to various family members and friends. On the night they sat us down and on came the three bridesmaids singing the first lines to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gradually other people joined in and eventually the whole dance floor was filled with our nearest and dearest singing to us.
It was brilliant and the first moment I actually took stock of what the whole day meant to us. All we had wanted was to have the people we loved around us as we made a commitment to each other. Only when we saw how much effort they had gone through for us did we truly realise what they all meant to us.
The venue was stunning- in the day time you felt like you were part of the garden and in the evening with the venue and fountain lit up it felt like being transported into a fairy tale.
We enjoyed all the parts of the garden from the ornamental garden with its huge cast iron gates to the meadow of purple flowers and the castle turrets which make up the garden walls. Each area adds a different feature to the photographs we had taken and allowed our guests to take some time away from the festivities to explore.
My favourite part of the day was hammering the nails into our “Love letter Box”. A box filled with a bottle of wine we bought the day we were engaged and a love letter from each of us. We plan to only open the box if we get to the point of no return or on our 35th wedding anniversary.
Casey says his favourite part of the day was seeing me for the first time on the beach. He said it was a relief that I’d turned up and the first moment he felt calm all day.
We went to Disney World in Florida for the first week of our honeymoon. We like to have fun so decided to “do Disney” one last time. The second week we spent at my aunt’s house in Clearwater, Florida relaxing – if you can call it that! We hired a car, played golf, went sightseeing up and down the coast, and ate out far too many times. The third week we went to the Kennedy Space Centre and Universal Studios.
We had a lot of fun but felt like we needed another holiday afterwards!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North is to take ten minutes together during the evening reception to have a walk through the garden and have a drink together. One of our friends found me and told me to go and find Casey to do this – it was a brilliant tip and I would recommend this to anyone who is getting married. You are pulled in so many directions all day on your wedding day that spending a small amount of time with your husband to reflect on the day is invaluable.
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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January 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple wanted an informal big day with lots of pretty vintage touches and their fabulous wedding photos are proof they more than achieved it.
After a quaint church ceremony, Hollie and Matt, along with their guests, headed down to the farm for a good old knees-up, complete with village fete inspired games, afternoon tea, musical entertainment and an entire evening of dancing.
So grab a hay bale and take a pew as we relive their incredible day.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
hollie says: We got engaged in July 2012, the day before the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Matt took me for a meal at my favourite restaurant as I was going to Cape Town with work the following evening. He asked me to marry him looking out over the beautiful view. Of course I said yes!
We set the date for Saturday 9th August 2014. We are both teachers so the summer holidays were an obvious time, and as we wanted a marquee this is supposedly when we are guaranteed the most sunshine!
We got married in a small church in the tiny village of Scarcliffe in Derbyshire where I grew up. My parents and grandparents also got married at this church.
We wanted a day that was really relaxed and informal. We love all things quirky and vintage, so a marquee on my Aunt and Uncle’s farm seemed like the perfect opportunity to style it exactly how we liked. The marquee was decorated with lots of furniture and objects from our home! It was important to us to involve as many of our friends and family as possible in our wedding day. It was a small but really personal do.
Our colour scheme just emerged naturally. A lot of the china we already had, and flowers we liked were creams and soft pinks. Unfortunately, the soft pink didn’t suit the skin tone of any of my bridesmaids so we went with a contrasting colour of blue/green.
I found my dress on the first day of looking! I had previously seen it on a website and couldn’t wait to try it on. It was very delicate Sincerity dress with lots of lace. I knew straight away that it was, as they say, ‘the one’. It was from The Bridal Boutique in West Bridgford, Nottingham. My shoes were Rachel Simpson, my earrings were handmade by a friend and I had my gran’s engagement ring tried on my bouquet with ribbon. I wore flowers in my hair so didn’t have any other accessories.
Matt wore a grey checked suit from Slater Brothers and the groomsmen all wore their own suits. The bridesmaid dresses meanwhile came from a small local shop called All Things Bride and Beautiful.
Mine, my mum’s and all the bridesmaids’ hair and make-up was done by my brother’s partner and her company Mirror Mirror. Everyone looked truly stunning.
I travelled to the church in my step brother’s, cream, MK2 Jaguar and Matt arrived at the church in his brother’s VW campervan.
Simon and Jo at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers. They were completely amazing! They made us feel at ease and were a massive hit amongst our guests. We have some fantastic pictures that we can treasure. We would most certainly recommend them!
All of our wedding stationery came from the super talented Sarah Wants. Her stationary is quirky and rustic, which fit in with our theme perfectly.
Our flowers came from Black Eyed Susan in Chesterfield. They were really great and knew exactly the look we were going for. The flowers looked stunning, we were really happy with the beautiful tomes they had chosen. They even ventured out in the monsoon weather to help us decorate the marquee!
Matt and I both have a very sweet tooth so we loved the idea of having a sweet table. So instead of favours we gave our guests small sweet jars that they could fill until their hearts’ content at the sweet table.
Our cake was made by my dad’s extremely talented partner – she did a fantastic job! It was a four-tiered ‘naked’ cake, decorated with summer fruits.
We wanted a relaxed and informal day, so we choose to have afternoon tea rather than a meal. The sandwiches came from M&S catering. All the hundreds of cakes and deserts were made by our fab friends and family! It really made the day feel personal. In the evening we had a hog roast from a family friend, Barlow’s Butchers.
To entertain guests during the day we had an acoustic guitarist called Phil Ashmore. He played during the ceremony then again during the drinks reception. This was really lovely as we could choose some of our favourite songs. We also had lots of games outside to keep the children (and adults) entertained. At night we had a band – The Smooth Criminals, followed by a DJ. They got everyone up and dancing on their feet even though it was cold and pouring with rain outside!
We were both really nervous about the service but surprisingly this turned out to be our favourite part of the day. It was beautiful. Surrounded by our closest friends and family, saying our vows was really special. An acoustic guitarist just added to the atmosphere. The evening was fantastic, dancing the night away to a great band with all our friends – we never sat down!
For our honeymoon we went to the beautiful city of Florence, in Italy. We hired a car and drove around the stunning Tuscan countryside. We then spent our final few days sightseeing in Rome.
Our top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t feel as though you have to follow tradition. It is your day, so do what makes you both happy. We spent hours looking at ideas deciding what we liked and what we didn’t. In the end our day felt very personal to us.
January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Like many people who write for a living, I’m also an avid reader, so I absolutely adore that Diane and Aeddan chose a literary theme for their beautiful Real Wedding in North Wales.
Their lovely wedding day was filled with pretty touches, personal details and themed surprises for their guests, but on a day filled with words, it’s really only three little ones that matter the most…
Diane and Aeddan seem to have the i love yous sorted.
Images by Daffodil Waves Photography.
dianne says: We got engaged in May 2013. As a history teacher I love all things historic, so Aeddan surprised me with a weekend away for my birthday which included a visit to Harlech Castle where he proposed with a custom made necklace as he knew I wanted to pick my own ring. We then spent the weekend at a beautiful country hotel.
We got married on 12th September 2014 at Nant Gwrtheryn, which is a restored quarrying village on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. Its primary function is as a Welsh language centre but it also does functions. We chose this venue because we wanted somewhere we could put our own mark upon. We also loved the idea of having a wedding that lasted all weekend with everything including the chapel and the guest accommodation (in restored quarrymen’s cottages) all in one place. Also, Aeddan is a Welsh speaker and I am English so we were able to have a bilingual wedding that brought our two cultures together.
Our theme was words, so we had our tables named after books that we both love and our place names were made from scrabble pieces. As a favour each guest was given a personalised Penguin book cover postcard. There were lots of other literary touches throughout the day.
We picked this theme because we both like reading and the theme evolved with the planning and took on a life of its own.
Our colour scheme was mint green and navy blue. Navy blue was decided upon because I had two bridesmen who needed to be in different coloured suits to the groomsmen and mint green worked well with navy blue.
I had a lace Justin Alexander dress from Bridal Path in Liverpool. I wanted a dress that I felt like the best version of myself in but that wasn’t too heavy so I could forget I was wearing it on the day. As soon as I put my dress on I felt comfortable. I knew I wanted lace from the start so it was an easy decision. Although I knew something was missing, three weeks before I realised my dress needed a belt, luckily the staff at Bridal Path were happy to let me hire one.
My flowers were pastel coloured roses and gypsophilia. I wanted a vintage look to my bouquet which Carol from Acacia Flowers on Anglesey delivered.
Nina Wren did the hair and make up on the day and was fantastic. She made all the ladies look amazing and was very professional.
Aeddan had a suit made from Moss Bros Bespoke, he tried on many suits but was never happy with the fit, so we decided to have one made for him.
The groomsmen also had suits hired from Slaters but these were in grey to match the groom.
Our photographer was Nicola from Daffodil Waves who exceeded our expectations. I would wholeheartedly recommend her. On the lead up to the day she was professional and her level of communication was amazing. I honestly felt like her only bride. On the day she was wonderful, it felt like having a friend there not a photographer. As for the photographs, we were blown away by how amazing she made everything look.
The centre pieces for the reception were provided by Acacia Flowers and matched my bouquet, we then stacked the centrepieces on piles off vintage books. We did much of the decoration ourselves including over 100 metres of bunting that we made. We really wanted to capture our personalities in the decoration which included a vintage ladder that Aeddan painted, a homemade scrabble board table plan and place names made from scrabble pieces. There was also some Welsh décor.
Our chairs were hired from Chair Covers of Anglesey who went above and beyond by decorating the chapel for us on the morning of the wedding.
We gave out various favours including: CDs with music on from the day (for the men), Penguin book themed thank you notebooks (for the women), a personalised penguin book postcard for each guest and activity packs and games for the children.
We had a four tier cake from Benjamin Lee on Anglesey which included chocolate and baileys, chocolate and vanilla and strawberry.
We also had a sweet table, gave female guests flip flops in the evening and had garden games for the children. We had two guest books, a vintage typewriter to fit in with our theme and giant colouring in where guests could colour a character and leave us their advice for a happy marriage, this now has pride of place in our hallway.
We had a harpist in the ceremony who was a family friend who also played at Aeddan’s parents’ wedding.
In the evening we had a soul band called The Soul Boys, Aeddan was adamant he wanted a live band from the start and the Soul Boys kept our guests dancing all night. The band were followed by a DJ who was under strict instructions not to play any cheesy music, we even had an hour of indie music.
I would recommend the venue without hesitation, it is absolutely unique. To have everything on one sight and views out to sea over the Llyn Peninsula was amazing. The service both in the lead up and on the day was professional and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. Being able to book the venue for the weekend was an added bonus.
Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. We had a Catholic ceremony which was conducted by a friend the family. He tailored the ceremony to suit our different beliefs and backgrounds. We were able to design a bilingual ceremony that all our guests loved. A particular highlight was our readings an Apache blessing translated in Welsh and A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.
The bilingual elements of our day made it very special and personal to us, I even learnt some Welsh to surprise Aeddan with in my speech.
Our honeymoon was spent in The Maldives where we enjoyed ten days relaxing on the Island of Kuramathi, Aeddan did manage to fit in some diving however!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that all those details are worth it and your guests will notice all your hard work. We had a vision and a spreadsheet and never compromised on it.
January 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Lets get this week off to a swinging start, shall we? Vanessa and Andrew chose to go for Gatsby glitz for their speakeasy style wedding at East Riddesden Hall.
The gin might have been flowing, but nobody was feeling melancholy on Vanessa’s big day – add some super styling, fabulous florals and a dress so good it had to be worn twice, and you’ve got one helluva party.
And as we all know, a little party never killed nobody!
With images by James & Lianne.
vanessa says: Andrew asked me to marry him during our annual ski holiday in 2013. We were staying in the French resort of Morzine when Andrew, with massive help from our friend Dan at The H.O.F.N.A.R Experience had arranged a surprise picnic at the top of the mountain overlooking Switzerland to celebrate our two year anniversary.
Afterwards, when Andrew was packing up the picnic in the snow, he was down on his knee and pulled out the engagement ring (which he had designed himself) and asked me to be his wife, to which I said yes. Unbeknownst to me Andrew had already asked my traditional father for my hand in marriage on a ski lift days earlier and him, my sisters and brother were waiting at a mountain bar further down the hill with champagne waiting for our arrival to celebrate!
It was the perfect proposal!
Our wedding was on the 2pm on the 13th September 2014. You know what they say about the 13th being unlucky for some? Well we are the opposite! We met on the 13th through an online dating service, we found our and moved into our dream home in Harrogate on the 13th so there was no other date would have chosen.
We got married at Christ Church on The Stray in Harrogate. It’s a beautiful church set in a great location, nestled in an area of calm just outside the centre of the town.
Our guests were then whisked away on vintage buses to East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley. East Riddlesden Hall has always been a perfect venue in our eyes, as when we initially talked about wedding venues both our answers were that we would love to have our reception in an old barn. We spent days scouring the internet looking for such a venue with little success. We eventually stumbled across East Riddlesden Hall through our photographer’s website instantly knowing that this was the place for us.
Our theme was Great Gatsby glitz meets underground prohibition. We both love gin so we had the tables named after different gins and an old crystal decanter filled with gin on each table with bowls of lemons and an individual bottle of Fever Tree Tonic at each place setting. There was even a cocktail table where you could mix the gin and make a Vansoire or a Bob Roberts cocktail.
The colours were dark grey and mint green as they work really well together in contrast. Andy used it on our invites, table plans and other stationery and designed it all himself.
I had a beautiful Claire Pettibone dress. I couldn’t stomach the full cost of a brand new one, so I bought it second hand from a lady who was selling hers on a preloved site. The only downside was I had to try it on for the first time in a grotty train station toilet – it just made the experience even more memorable!
I carried a bouquet of Sweet Williams, ivory Roses and some very special Patience Roses from Nicolla Florist in Wetherby.
Our attendants wore their own outfits. The two best men wore dark grey suits and the bridesmaids wore mint green and charcoal grey – all different makes and styles.
Our photographers were James & Lianne – we found them online and had a real affinity with their style of photography. We wanted laid back and natural and that’s what they provided – beautiful, natural contemporary photos – we even had some taken with a vintage 1930’s camera which we adore
The reception flowers were amazing – we had a huge mix of flowers from pampas grass and gold sprayed baby’s breath with peacock feathers and willow branches. All our reception flowers were supplied by Emma’s Home & Garden.
Mel Brooksbank at stylemywedding.co.uk designed the whole look of the day – all the props and little touches were all made possible by her – she set up the whole venue and rents out all the props from her collection. It completely took the stress away on the day and made it all look magical.
We wanted our guests to have a good time so we spent a lot of our budget on food and drink. GFS Catering did our food – we had a mix of canapés with Pimms and Saltaire Brewery Ale on the lawn before a main course of BBQ food including ribs, chicken & chorizo skewers and a selection of salads and sides. For pudding we had a trio of mini lemon cheesecake, crème brûlée and chocolate brownie.
Our friend recommended the caretaker’s wife at a local school to make our mountain scene cake – it had a chalet, hot tub, piste, gin, BBQ and our little car – she’s incredibly talented! Andrea Anderson isn’t a pro but she should be.
We are famous in our friendship group for BBQ’s so we made our own BBQ rub and packaged it up in test tubes for our guests to take away as favours.
Andy also had a box of Romeo & Julietta cigars which we handed out after dinner.
We had outdoor games, a coconut shy, croquet and boules.
One of the best bits was the dress-up box and frame – we hired old vintage fur stoles, hats and gloves and everyone dressed up and took pictures with our instant Polaroid camera.
Alex Graham & The Concords play outside Harvey Nicholls every Christmas and one year I stopped and asked them for their card, vowing they would one day play at my wedding, then one day they did. They play proper rock n roll and also some of the new stuff – they had the crowd in the palm of their hand and everyone was up dancing the night away
Emma and the wedding team at East Riddlesden Hall are so helpful and friendly – they try to embrace people’s ideas rather than impose rules and regulations like at some venues. It’s a National Trust site so the grounds are beautiful and well kept. It was also excellent value for money.
We loved driving over from the church to the reception in the Aston Martin, just casually driving through Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales with the music up loud and celebrating being newlyweds in style!
For our honeymoon we went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy and travelled around Positano, Sorrento, Capri and Ischia. Our favourite stop was The Relais Blu Hotel near Sorrento but Capri was stunning – if you haven’t been already you must go. We were lucky enough to see the fireworks festival in Ravello which was an amazing experience.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to pick the three most important elements for the wedding and concentrate your budget around them. Ours were food & drink, the band and the venue. For example, I was looking at chair covers but Andy pointed out that for the same price of the chair covers we could have an extra 30 bottles of champagne. Needless to say we went without chair covers in the end and I didn’t even notice!
Try not to look at too many options as it’s easy to confuse yourself – try or get quotes from a maximum of 3 places. 3 venues, 3 dress shops, 3 caterers… otherwise the planning can be all consuming.
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January 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
When I try to find the words to introduce this wedding, I’m stalled.
Because, oh my god that dress.
Ok, so the romantic blousy roses, the chic venue, the super cool milk float ride home and the sparkly Choos are all something else, but kudos to you Lizzy, I think we have a contender for my favourite gown of all time. Those blush ruffles blow my mind.
With beautiful, atmospheric images from Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography, I think I better let Lizzie do the talking…
lizzie says: We got engaged on 2nd April 2012 on my 29th Birthday. We went out for a meal at the Michelin starred Sharrow Bay in the Lake District, then went for a short walk when James proposed by the lake.
Our wedding date was 2nd August 2014.
We got married at St Anne’s Church, Woodplumpton which is a beautiful old church near my family home. Our reception was at Northcote Manor in Langho. The food was and is out of this world.
The theme for our wedding was ‘intimate and romantic’. We picked this because we were busy planning on building our first home at the time so we wanted an smaller wedding and a romantic style matched my dress perfectly.
Our wedding colour scheme was blush pink, ivory and gold to match my wedding dress.
I added a long chapel length blush pink veil covered with Swarovski crystals and a garter made by Keli Thompson.
We travelled to the church and the venue in a stunning ivory vintage Rolls Royce from Leacars. We travelled from the church to my parent’s home in my great granddad’s 200 year old milk float!
My bouquet was blush pink and ivory roses provided from Ashton Flower Shop, a local florist.
Our photographer was Fairclough Photography from Lytham.
Well what can I say…we met these two in a pub for a chat and fell love with their passion, ideas, creativity and individual style. Plus there’s two of them so they managed to perfectly capture every special moment and detail of our wedding day. Since our wedding several of our family and friends have booked them but we had them first!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
After the church, we had champagne waiting for everyone at the Wheatsheaf Pub opposite the church.
We carried the roses from my bouquet on into our reception decor. Each larger table at the reception had a sphere of blush pink and ivory roses to match my bouquet, and each sat on top of a tall clear vase. Hurricane candles were also used for decoration on the tables.
The favours were blush pink macaroons.
The cake was a three tier confection: the bottom tier chocolate, middle tier vanilla and the top tier fruit. It was blush pink and ivory and decorated with three large edible roses. It was from Ava Rose Cakes in Lytham.
For our evening entertainment, we had our friend’s band, Sold To The Sky. We are good friends with one of the members of the band.
For our honeymoon we went to Kuredu Resort in the Maldives. Complete relaxation – wining and dining on the beach and swimming with sharks! Luckily we got upgraded on the Emirates flight on the way home. A perfect ending!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to come up with a theme based around your own individual style.
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January 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Well, what can I say, from the memorable wedding proposal to the stately venue and swoon-worthy wedding attire (especially the Jimmy Choos) – this couple have style.
Chris popped the question to Sami when they were travelling together so it seemed only natural to them to incorporate their love for globetrotting into their big day celebrations – and my word they did it well.
With Sami’s creative eye and Chris’s exceptional carpenter skills, they created a host of gorgeous personal props that were a whole classy world away from what Handy Andy used to create with a piece of plywood.
So pack a suitcase guys, as it’s time to join Sami and Chris on the journey of their splendid wedding day.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
sami says: We got engaged in Hoi An, Vietnam, on June 23, 2013 during our travels. We’d been travelling for nine months before Chris went down on one knee during a romantic cycle ride into the countryside, with rice fields galore. We stepped off our bicycles then walked between rice paddies to reach a distressed bamboo bridge to take photographs. The next thing I knew, Chris popped the question with a “will you marry me?” which he had created with wooden letters he bought from a market stall in Bangkok six weeks earlier and attached them onto a world map paper. Chris had created the proposal, using snatched moments when I was in the shower each evening! It was an unexpected moment even though I was hoping that Chris would propose one day during our travels!
Sunday September 14, 2014 was the date we decided to tie the knot. We chose this date as we liked the fact that September is usually warm and pleasant and with the hope of an Indian summer, still retaining the colours of the flowers and leaves from the lingering end of the season, that end of summer feeling we love so much, when the sun appears lower in the sky, giving everything a soft warm glow and it doesn’t go dark until around 8pm. The date also includes our personal significant numbers, so it all worked out perfectly, as if it was written in the stars for us!
We chose Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire as our venue as it has the perfect magical, fairytale and country feel and is in a tranquil setting. It looks like a castle with its Tudor gatehouse as a welcoming entrance, grounds with woodland offering romantic walks, a quirky summerhouse and an Italian terrace, creating endless opportunities for amazing photographs. The interior of Hodsock Priory was just as perfect! What also attracted us to Hodsock Priory is its exclusivity, so we wouldn’t have to worry about sharing our wedding with another wedding party.
The moment we stepped into Hodsock Priory we immediately fell in love with it and knew nothing else could compete with this stunning and special place! Also we live near Hampton Court in London, so there are some connections – Henry VIII once visited Hodsock Priory and to us, it’s like a mini version of Hampton Court. The venue is also local to where my parents live, about 20 minutes away, yet we had never heard of it before we got engaged!
It was a no-brainer to pick a travel related theme as we had travelled around the world and visited 20 countries together in our four-year relationship. So we had a vintage travel theme with a natural, rustic boho chic style.
Our colour scheme was grey, ivory and natural kraft, which was used in our wedding stationery, along with splashes of blue, green and pink colours in the flowers. We chose this scheme because grey is one of our favourite colours and the other colours were thrown in the mix to complement it and bring the whole scheme to life with the natural look we were after. Chris made lots of wooden props, which also blended in well with the colour theme.
The day Chris and I returned from our travels in July 2013, we received our first wedding magazine as a part of our engagement gift. Already having an idea of the look I wanted in my mind, I flicked through the magazine and there it was – I spotted ‘the one’. It was Holly by Charlotte Balbier. I sourced local stockists and found Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield, who was fantastic. I looked at dresses in other bridal shops first to make sure, but once I slipped into the Holly dress, I just knew, tears welled up in my eyes and my mum welled up too!
I wanted a simple, flowing, ethereal and dreamy dress that I could wear again after my wedding (the hem can easily be shortened). I also wanted to wear the dress rather than it wearing me, plus I wanted some details to add interest, such as embellishments around the waist and detailed bodice – that dress ticked every box! I had a halter neck strap added to it to make it a little more unique from the usual strapless dress.
When it came to accessories, I fell in love with my Jimmy Choos and I had a matching handbag to go with it. I wanted shoes to complement my dress and they did with the lattice effect just like my dress bodice. They felt so special! My floral clay circlet meanwhile was bespoke, created by the lovely Sofia of Lilain London, whose work I spotted at The Brides Show in Battersea.
Chris wore a country look grey suit. It was purchased from Reiss along with a white shirt and tan brogues. The silver/grey tie was from Aquascutum and a silver/grey silk pocket square was from John Lewis.
For our décor, we had the same flowers as my bouquet, with lots of gypsophila! We collected lots of glass jars with the help of both sets of parents for the tables. Me and my mum decorated these jars with ribbon, jute string, raffia and wicker hearts then Kay at Hodsock added the flowers. I also collected large glass coffee jars from work, filled with pebbles collected from a beach near Chris’s family’s regular seaside place; they were perfect for the table names! We had each table named after some of our favourite countries and instead of just writing them out, I made a country outline template then Chris cut it out on plywood using a jigsaw. We originally planned to have the guests guess what each country was but realised it was too difficult, so made a label with country name for each one. For each table, we also sourced candle lanterns and photo frames. We love candle lanterns as they evoke warm memories of our travels we felt they gave an enchantingly calm atmosphere.
We used props to give our day more of a personal touch. Chris made some large ‘LOVE’ letters, a wooden wedding post box and also wooden hanging hearts for the aisle, which we alternated with, bunches of gypsophila. He also made a rustic wooden signpost, which depicted some of the places we had visited. It was placed on the lawn giving photo opportunities for guests.
We added family wedding photographs of our parents and dear departed grandparents and had decorations to tie in with vintage travel theme, such as world map board used for table plan, a map photo frame with our engagement photo and C & S letters covered with world map. We also had two wooden step ladders – the large one made a lovely decoration at the entrance, with flowers scattered all over it, topped with a bicycle to represent us (we got engaged whilst out cycling) and a handwritten painted ‘welcome’ sign. We even borrowed a vintage globe from Hodsock Priory for our ceremony table.
Together with my creative eye and perfectionist way, and Chris’s skilled hands, we were able to make the decorations and props we wanted. Since we got married, we have decided to set up our own website as we are looking to go into the wedding props market.
We went for natural and wild looking flowers. I carried a bouquet filled with gypsophila, ivory and dusky pink roses, pink veronica, eryngiums, eucalyptus, small daisies, all tied together with jute string. The flowers were part of the Hodsock Priory package. Chris and the men in the bridal party wore eryngium buttonholes and the ladies wore ivory roses.
We wanted to arrive at Hodsock Priory in style while continuing our travel theme, so we hired Harry, a beautifully restored VW campervan from Vintage VolksWeddings. It was reminiscent of our road trips in Australia and New Zealand. The campervan transported me and my bridesmaids to Hodsock Priory first, where we had our final preparations. Then the groom and groomsmen were collected from a hotel, along with the groom’s parents to be taken to the venue. It was an awesome start to the day and a great photo opportunity!
Jo and Simon at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers on the day. We discovered them by Googling and admired their blog with photographs of a couple whose wedding also took place at Hodsock Priory. We loved their natural and candid style and felt the photographs oozed freshness and colours, and lots of close up shots of details, which were also so important to us. We also hired two videographers to film our wedding as we feel it is a memory in motion that we can keep and cherish over the years.
For our favours we presented the ladies with stainless steel heart spoons and for the men we gave antique key bottle openers.
After many months of changing our minds on how we wanted our cake and cupcakes to look, we eventually settled on a lattice effect for half of the cupcakes and small ivory roses for the rest of the cupcakes. The lattice effect tied in with my dress bodice and the ivory roses with our flowers. I loved the simple dot design also, so had that for the main three-tier cake finished with cascading ivory roses. I didn’t want to decide between a three-tier cake and cupcakes, so I managed to persuade Chris to have both! Yvonne, another supplier of the Hodsock Priory package, baked the scrumptious three-tier fruitcake and sponge cupcakes made in two separate flavours – Victoria sponge with jam and lemon.
As Chris is a carpenter, he made the wooden cake stand to present the cupcakes in a creative and unique way and the top stand was personalised with engraving. We also had a wooden base for the three-tier cake. We decided to use fairylights for the lighting effect as it reminds us of travelling in faraway places, especially restaurants by the beach! The cake topper was a bespoke design, created to look like us! It was by Cheryl at Artlocke Designs.
The wines were included in the Hodock Priory package and we chose Gail Dandy as our caterer as we felt her variety of food covered everyone’s tastes. When we went food sampling and were impressed by the numbers of dishes on offer and how delicious her food was!
As we wanted everyone to join in on the dance floor, we decided to have a ceilidh band. We hired Knitters Jig, who provided an entertaining performance. It was brilliant fun. It didn’t matter if guests made mistakes, it only added to the atmosphere and everyone had a really good laugh!
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is such a beautiful and fairytale like venue with stunning grounds. The woodland and the lake give the place a magical, enchanted feel! George and the staff were so helpful and friendly and so well organised. We were made to feel very welcome to share their beautiful home.
It’s really difficult to pinpoint our favourite part of the day as we loved every moment. It was the best day of our lives but if we had to choose, the greatest part would be seeing each other at the aisle!
For our honeymoon we went to Hawaii for three weeks island hopping, visiting three different islands, which was a fantastic and amazing experience. We hired a Jeep for a week to explore one of the islands and we swam along with turtles and stingrays in the sea! It was an amazing honeymoon with a variety of things to do but at the same time offered a lot of relaxation time, which we so desperately needed. We didn’t want to come home!
Our advice to other brides and grooms-to-be is to enjoy the planning and make sure you leave plenty of time if you want to DIY everything and do rope in family or friends to help – make use of their skills. For example, whilst we had our own ideas for wedding stationery, Chris’s brother-in-law helped us by honing our ideas into reality with his creative graphic design skills for travel themed invitations, order of service, table plan and place cards. Although the day flies by so quickly, make sure you have time for each other but also circulate with your guests between meals like we did, it makes them feel appreciated.
If you want a creative first wedding dance, it’s worth investing in a few dance lessons to build up your confidence and learn your moves, like we did. We wrote our own promises for the ceremony as we wanted our wedding to be more personal, meaningful and unique. If you wish to do the same, make sure you leave plenty of time to think and write them.
aquascutum, artlocke designs, blue wedding flowers, charlotte balbier, coast, gail dandy, hodsock priory wedding, holly by charlote balbier, jimmy choo, john lewis, knitters big ceilidh band, lila, pretty wedding, real wedding, reiss, river island, shoot lifestyle wedding photography, travel wedding, uk wedding blog, vintage volksweddings
January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime
Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.
Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.
helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012. The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!
We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014. As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!
Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.
My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye. As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come. I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.
Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.
My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme. My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.
Jonny Draper was our photographer. The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job. I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.
Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.
We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste. We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.
As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags. The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.
On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.
We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!
We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day. There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.
We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September. I can’t wait!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key! We were very organised which saved a lot of stress. Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.
bellissima bridal boutique, brides up north featured supplier, cheshire wedding, dominic halpin and the honey bs, heaton house farm wedding, ice cream dub, jonny draper photography, leo strings, real wedding, sassi holford, secret garden florist, silk wedding films, uk wedding blog, whitfield and ward
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