December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join newly weds Sally and Stephen for their crazy, colourful (and all kinds of lovely) pre-wedding shoot on the North Pier, Blackpool. Time for a few candyfloss kisses…
May your days be merry & bright!
Images by James Jebson Photography.
sally says: A few weeks before Christmas, I told Stephen I didn’t think we’d made enough effort with our Christmas decorations. Arriving home late from a late shift, on a very wet and cold evening, I opened the front door to find our hall stairs had been covered in fake snow and glitter. My first thought was that Stephen had taken my ‘pimping the decorations’ briefing a bit too far, until I noticed an arrow of glitter directing me into the living room. All of the walls had been covered in fairly lights; there was more snow across the floor; the hearth was filled with flowers and there was a very large mound of glitter where the television should have been. There was also a champagne bucket with an iced bottle of Pepsi and a platter of cheese.
It is at this point I should probably explain that when we had first started dating we listed our five favourite things – mine were glitter, fairy lights, cheese, kittens and dancing (Pepsi would inch in at number 6). Over by the mound of glitter were two small kittens (not real ones!) with a sign pointing at the glitter and saying ‘shake me’. As I did, the glitter stuck to a piece of card and revealed the words ‘Sally Henfield will you marry me?’ Then Stephen popped out of the downstairs toilet (where he’d been hiding for 40 minutes because I was late home) and got down on one knew with a beautiful 1920s-style sapphire and diamond ring! I said YES, and then we did a little dance to Newton Faulkner – the song he first told me he loved me to. So, all five favourite things boxed off in one proposal.
The first time we met is a topic of hot debate. We both went to Newcastle University and some of our friend groups overlap, but we never actually met each other while we were there.
Stephen remembers meeting me in a box at a Newcastle United game in 2002, but I do not remember meeting him until he (via our mutual friend Chris) offered me and a mate a place to stay when we went to a wedding in 2006– in return for us getting the boys invited to the evening do. Stephen won’t mind me saying that he held a torch from then on, but we did not get together until the summer of 2012. Chris invited me to an Olympic party while I was on a secondment to London and Stephen was dressed as Fidel Castro. Then the next night we were abandoned by our friends on a night out and shared a can of Pepsi in Trafalgar Square…
After swapping number by Nelson’s Column, Stephen came to visit me in Preston, where I was living at the time. We had a fantastic weekend – we went to a beer festival, for walks in the park, drank Pepsi, visited museums. But after 52 hours Stephen had still not kissed me! It was only just as he was about to get his train that he finally made his move (with a very strong verbal hint from me!) He says he wanted me to know that he was in it for the real deal and hadn’t just come to Preston to get a quick smooch– a very gentlemanly approach.
Our engagement shoot was part of our photography package. We already knew our photographer James Jebson and it was a really good way to see how he worked ahead of the actual wedding. We picked Blackpool because we had been on one of early dates there and had danced down the North Pier in the moonlight when it was empty of tourists.
The engagement shoot was great fun, if a little chilly. We even got to go on a carousel! I had just bought my frilly underskirt from a vintage shop the day before and we had several old ladies come up to us to say how pretty it looked as Stephen twirled me round.
We love the photos – they are so fun and colourful (even if the weather was dreary!)
We technically got married at Lewisham registry office, but that was just the legal necessities!
We held our wedding over a long weekend so we could spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Our wedding ceremony was held at the Asylum, a disused chapel in Peckham, and one of our best friends Chris (who is responsible for bringing us together) acted as the ‘vicar’. It was so lovely to have someone who could give such a personal account of our relationship delivering the ceremony.
We then held our reception at Brunswick House in Vauxhall – this is a Georgian town house that is now used as an architectural salvage shop during the day and a great place for partying in the evening.
The following day we gathered for a picnic in St James Park and then we all boarded the Tamesis Dock boat for more dancing.
On the Sunday, Stephen and I took some time out to celebrate as just the two of us and went to the Chiltern Firehouse for brunch before catching up with family and then jetting off on honeymoon.
I love that Stephen will always get up on the dancefloor (and look good doing it); that he shares a passion for cheese and Pepsi; that he loves adventures, big or small; he looks fab in woolly jumpers; he loves creating ‘memories’; he remembers the little details of things that you have said so can buy amazing presents; he is funny and has a different laugh for when I am doing silly things; because he has the best eyebrows in the world EVER; he makes a mean fishfinger sandwich (potato waffles is the key ingredient)…the list goes on and on.
Stephen gave the most heartfelt groom speech I have ever heard (and of course I would say that – but he had most of our guests crying with his lovely words) and if I can paraphrase it for him here he said he loves me because I live up to the ideal of the Sally Henfield he has had since we first met.
Our biggest wish for married life is that there are even more adventures to come and that there is always time to dance with each other!
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
What I love most about my job as editor of these pretty pages is the variety of stunning and special celebrations that I get to witness, albeit through a set of wonderfully curated images or a snappy wedding film. I’ll be honest: sometimes I cry (in a good way).
One such submission that really touched me was the beautiful wedding blessing of ex-pats Heather and Mike, who returned to the UK following their Dubai wedding to celebrate with those they’d left back on English soil. Their [pared down ‘second’ wedding day is stripped back to all that really matters on a wedding day – two people in love, their nearest and dearest (plus a killer gown, some great heels and a stunning backdrop always help).
I think it’s utterly beautiful.
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
heather says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Dubai where we live. I’d gone back to the UK to visit family and Mike used his time to go ring shopping. Mike proposed to me with a cup of tea (and a stunning ring) as I woke up the morning after a late arrival back into Dubai.
We actually got married on 6 April 2014 in Dubai but we wanted to have a Wedding Blessing and a celebration with our friends and family in the UK who could not make it. The blessing took place on 12 July 2014. As we are both teachers the dates for both events were rather un-romantically dictated by term time (and the hope of decent weather).
The Blessing service took place at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, near Penrith. We chose this venue as it is a short walk from the family home where I grew up and where my family still live. It was a ultimately an easy decision as it is a beautiful church, in a beautiful setting next to the Eden River and with a stunning view of the Pennines.
After organising one wedding in Dubai, we were very lucky for our family to take charge of events in the UK. An evening party was held after the service on the ‘Raven’ Steamer on Ullswater Lake which was the brainchild of my Godmother Paula. Along with the jazz band that played throughout the evening.
We wanted the celebration to be laid back and relaxed. The overall aim was for us all to have a good time and catch up.
I wore the same dress as I did for the wedding in Dubai much to the envy of many friends as I had the opportunity to wear it for a second time. The dress was handmade and embroidered by Lily Duds Tailoring, Dubai. The beauty of having the dress handmade was that I was able to get the dress just as I wanted and combine a variety of different designs I liked.
My Jimmy Choo heels brought an extra sparkle to my outfit and were even comfy enough to wear for the walk to and from the church.
I carried three hand tied peonies. Aunty Gillian and family friend, Yvonne Marples, arranged the flowers on the day. They wonderfully captured our relaxed theme through the flowers by creating a wild, country garden feel.
Melissa Beattie was the photographer. She was also the photographer for our wedding in Dubai. We loved her photographs from this so much that we bullied her into taking the shots for the Wedding Blessing.
Her work is intimate, natural and she has a wonderful ability to make us look fabulous! We ultimately considered her one of our guests due to her warm and friendly manner.
She took a great deal of time and effort to ensure we got exactly what we wanted and edited and designed our wedding album beautifully
Hair and make-up was by Bridget Foster, Carlisle. Bridget is an excellent make up artist, who has a subtle touch and eye for detail, as well as having a wonderful personality.
We actually only just made it to our own Wedding Blessing! Our passports were caught up in the fiasco with the UK Passport agency and were with the passport agency for 10 weeks and only arrived in Dubai 5 days before we were due to fly. A thank you to Rory Stewart, MP, and his office for all their help in chasing this matter!
A 1969 Red Double Decker Bus was hired from Stagecoach to take the guests and us to and from Glenridding Pier, to board the steamer.
Our favourite part of the day was simply being with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in many years.
The steamer on the lake is a beautiful experience and loved by all of our guests. The scenery makes for a simply stunning backdrop – especially for us who spend most of our time looking at sand!
Due to the limitations for catering on the steamer itself, we went for canapés and mini meals from Bakerwood Marquees and Events who far exceeded our expectations. The food was fresh, delicious, plentiful and was provided to our guest by a very attentive team of waiters.
We created personalised brown Mr and Mrs sweetie bags, which contained personalised rock and Love Hearts sweets.
The Dixie Kings Jazz Band was chosen for the evening to suit setting of cruising down Ullswater lake. They provided fabulous entertainment, loved by the old and the young, and we all danced the night away.
We honeymooned in Zanzibar, which provided an ideal balance between relaxation and adventure.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the day! It is about you both not everybody else.
December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Hannah and Arul for a wedding celebration that was a true celebration of their different cultures. This couple mixed morris dancers and high tea alongside goat curries and Indian dress, without batting an eyelid. And you know what?
It just fits.
The result? A fresh and fabulous day, with meaningful touches, an heirloom wedding dress and a whole lot of love.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.
hannah says: We got engaged on my birthday (28th February 2013). We were on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors and we went to The Lion Inn pub in the middle of nowhere (my granddad’s ashes are spread there) it’s a pub loved by all the family and we went every Christmas.
We went on a walk along the moors and we walked for miles (turned out Arul was looking for the perfect spot where all the classical elements: earth, wind, water and fire were present).
We sat down for a tea break Arul said he had another present for me. Out came the ring! It was perfect: we were alone with beautiful views and it was the best walk back to the pub where we had lunch by the roaring fire next to the piano.
We were married on 26th August 2014 at Bilton Church. We chose this as at midnight it would have been my Granddad’s birthday (27th August). Therefore he would still be part of the day. The wedding was in the village where I grew up and the church that my grandparents were married at, and the reception was at The Haven Arms, Hedon.
Our wedding saw the joining of two different cultures – English and Srilankan. The wedding was celebrated in both cultures over Day and Night. We did vintage high tea for the day celebration. I chose to wear my grandma’s dress and we collected tea cups, side plates and tea pots all year, the venue provided the bunting and Morris Dancers entertained the guests.
The night theme was Indian with lots of coloured lighting, Indian food, Indian music and the guest in Indian clothes (sarees for women and kurta’s for men). This reflected Arul’s country of birth Sri Lanka with his mum and brother travelling from Sri Lanka for the wedding.
I wore my grandma’s wedding dress. She offered to buy my wedding dress and I asked to look at hers.It was important to me to make my grandma a big part of the wedding as she has been a huge part of my life.
I got my two adult bridesmaids sage green dresses from House of Fraser and my flower girl’s dress was made especially for her.
Arul wore dark grey tails with a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids.
I carried sweet peas which all the family grew, these where the flowers my granddad grew on his allotment so it was important to include them. I also had roses (Aruls mum’s favourite) and peonies. The flowers and arrangements were by Evergreen Garden Centre in Bilton.
My friend Francesca picked Arul up in her Audi and I had a vintage car by Alternative Wedding Cars.
We had the flowers clustered on the pew ends and wrapped in lace to match my dress and had love heart shaped bird cages hanging outside the church.
The Haven Arms were so accommodating. We went to two tasting sessions and the chef sourced special ingredients for the evening curries based on Arul’s feedback. They also sourced all the bunting, chair covers, lighting and led lighting to match our theme. The owners even dresses up in Indian clothes on the night!
This place is brilliant for people wanting a themed wedding as they are so adaptive.
My auntie Di made our fruit cake. She makes all our family cakes and gave us this as our wedding gift. My bridesmaid Sarah made all the cupcakes and we bought a cake stand from Ebay to display them both.
During the day we were entertained by the Makara Morris Dancers. They were fantastic and invited us to practice with them prior to the wedding and let us choose all their dances on the day. They kept the guests busy while we were having pictures and filled a gap between food and speeches (getting everyone to join in) which everyone said was brilliant.
As a special touch for later in the evening, my friends and I spent a year learning an Indian dance in order to surprise Arul and the guests.
We went on a Log House Holidays honeymoon in the Cotswolds. We were in a log cabin on a lake with our own hot tub and rowing boat!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding a reflection of who you are, it’s a lot of hard work but totally worth it.
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December 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Frances and Olly’s relaxed marquee wedding is filled with fun, fab florals (some ten feet tall, watch out for the giant daffs) and fuelled by a free bar. Always a nice idea.
It’s the first wedding ever to be held at Mill Granary Cottages, and I have a feeling that the bar has been set pretty high…
Get ready to party!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Camera A Photography.
frances says: We got engaged in October 2013 – a week before my birthday. We got engaged on the Friday morning. Olly had liaised with a colleague of mine and put a “fake meeting” in my diary so I thought I had a full day at work. I also thought we were going to Sheffield to visit friends on Friday night. I got up at 6am and Olly said I wasn’t going to work that day. I told him he was wrong because I had a meeting. He asked me to marry him in our flat in the morning before he whisked me off to Paris to celebrate.
We got married in a beautiful church, St Osmund’s in Gainford on 7th June 2014.
The reception venue was Mill Granary Cottages – we hired the cottages and put a marquee on the meadow next to them. It was the first wedding they had ever done and it looked amazing. Kate and Richard (who own Mill Granary) were fantastic.
We wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to have a good time, and I’m not sure I managed a colour scheme!
I travelled in a white VW beetle to the wedding. My bridesmaids were in a VW van. I used Lovedub Cars.
I chose a dress from Sabina Motasem, a designer based in London. I wanted something elegant and not too over the top. She has some beautiful dresses in her collection.
My hair and makeup were done by Hobbs and Holmes and they were so good on the morning of the wedding.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Monsoon – silver coloured, knee length and really pretty. The ushers wore their own suits and Olly bought them their ties and pocket squares.
Olly wore a Reiss suit. He looked fit.
I carried white peonies. My mum bought them from the flower market and my friend Ruth made the bouquets with the help of Olly’s sister. The bridesmaids had white peonies and pink roses. Ruth did those as well. Befriend a florist it’s a huge money saver!
Our photographers were Jane and Anne from Camera A in Darlington. They were brilliant. Jane was completely organised and made sure she extracted a full briefing from us before the day to get the shots we wanted. They were both really flexible on the day and the photos are gorgeous.
The decorations outside the marquee and around the marquee were provided for by Ruthie from Cloud Nine Decor. She is an amazing talent and provided giant flowers, a bluebell archway, and loads of bunting.
The table decorations were provided by my Mum. She collected little crystal vases from charity shops and they were filled with wild flowers from fields and woodland that she collected.
Olly made the cake – it was a family recipe – Guinness cake. It was delicious.
We chose not to give out favours – there was a free bar!
We ordered our wine from Majestic. We had a French Malbec and a South African white. The food was provided by The Game Cart. Really delicious food and their front of house staff were superb, making sure our guests were really looked after.
We had three of our friends do DJ shifts on the night. They were brilliant and just banged out the hits. The dance floor was permanently full.
We’d absolutely recommend Marston Moor Marquees and Mill Granary Cottages. If you want a marquee wedding but need somewhere to host it, this is the place.
We’re off on our honeymoon over Christmas – destination TBC…
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a free bar if you can – it’s well worth it!
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December 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Today’s newlyweds Pete and Jenn not only share the names of one of my all-time favourite onscreen couples (Cold Feet fans will know what I’m talking about) but they also share my love for a vibrant wedding palette and wonderful wild blooms.
I absolutely adore Jenn’s wedding attire and styling, from her cute tea length dress and skyscraper something blue shoes, to her fabulous bouquet and gorgeous hair do. And the lads sure scrub up well too! Beautiful, just beautiful!
So forget the gales blowing outdoors and let yourself drift away into this incredibly classy, colourful celebration of love.
With images by Photography34
pete says: We got engaged at home in February 2011. It was just a normal day at home but that’s what was important to us.
We set the date for August 2, 2014. It was a special date to us as it was the eighth anniversary of when we first met.
Bardney Hall in Barton on Humber, North Lincolnshire, was our chosen wedding venue. We picked it as it gave us a blank canvas to do with what we wanted and the setting was well suited to our theme. The home owner and staff were all very caring too, which made us very comfortable.
Our colour scheme was blue and orange – Jenn’s choice of vibrant colours, which she then built the theme of the day around. Jenn also made all the decorations, with a little help from me and the wedding party.
Jenn designed the bridesmaids’ dresses that were then specially made for the big day by Bonita of Chanterlands in Hull.
Jenn’s dress was from Elite Bridal in Hull. It was a simple backless tea length dress with a boat neck and diamante brooch on the waist in ivory satin. She knew she wanted a shorter dress as she’s only wee and she also wanted to wear statement shoes as her something blue.
I wore a blue suit from Slaters Menswear in Hull, along with a white shirt, burnt orange accessories and tan shoes and belt. The groomsmen wore the same.
Holyhocks in Hull put together our wedding flowers which were a selection of vibrant blue and orange flowers, including Scottish thistle to honour Jenn’s family and home.
Our photographer was Tony Wilson of Photography34. We would highly recommend him. He provides a really excellent service and his stunning pictures speak for themselves.
Extra decorations on the day included bunting handmade by Jenn and her mum. Jenn also made our table decorations, wedding stationery and table plan, incorporating the bunting theme. I made hanging orange and blue decorations and we had more flowers provided by the venue.
For favours we gave our guests vinyl records with a message on a label from me and Jenn. These also doubled up as place settings on the tables.
For our wedding day meal we had barbecue food served straight from the grill in the gardens with wine and deserts. It was provided by 2chefs Catering of Beverley, East Yorkshire, who provided a really amazing service. We would highly recommend them!
We chose this style of food as we love to host at home by having friends over for barbecues. We also had cocktails served as welcome drinks and kept them coming throughout the day.
We designed the cake following theme of wedding. It was a blue, white and orange, three-tier creation made by Kalou’s Cups and Cakes in Barton on Humber.
To entertain our guests we had vintage garden games, which were enjoyed by both the children and adults. Later in the evening we had a disco in the marquee.
For us the whole day was amazing – we couldn’t possibly pick a favourite part.
We followed up our wedding with a honeymoon in Dalyan, Turkey. We stayed at Villa Saadet which was kindly offered to us as a wedding gift from the best man and his family who own the villa. It’s a really beautiful place and we highly recommend it to anyone wanting to visit Turkey. It was a very relaxing week – one which we will remember forever!
Our top tip to other Brides (and grooms) Up North would be to prepare everything in advance and always have a back-up plan! We got caught out 24 hours before the wedding as a supplier went bust. We wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that. Fortunately we have some contacts that helped us out – life savers!
December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Tina & Andy’s big day is just sublime. From their chic styling, to their outdoor wedding breakfast, personalised brew and simple yet special personal touches, this is a celebration that has real class.
And take a look at their randomly captured proposal video. It’s moments that this that make life amazing.
With images by Little Miss Boyco.
tina says: For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to have a big trip to celebrate – and what better way to do that than going to Vegas and Orlando! Little did I know, Andy was planning his own little surprise. In the months leading up to the holiday, Andy had spoken to my parents about his plans and had also found the perfect engagement ring, with the help of my little sister.
On the second last day of the holiday, we went to Universal Studios in Orlando for the “Cinematic Spectacular” – a light, laser, water and firework display in celebration of 100 years of Universal. At the end of the show, as we walked out with the crowds, we reminisced about our favourite parts of the holiday and how the show was the perfect way to round off the trip. As we chatted, Andy stopped and turned to me and said there was just one more thing that would make the holiday more perfect. And this is where he got down on one knee and proposed! Amongst the blur of tears and strangers clapping and cheering, I accepted!
In a crazy twist, the proposal was actually captured on video by one of the passers-by, which was posted on YouTube a couple of months later, and which Andy randomly stumbled across a few months after that!
If you would like to see the moment for yourself, take a look. It is so strange being able to watch it back but also awesome we have this memory to cherish forever!
We chose to get married at High House Farm in Northumberland as it had everything we were looking for in a venue – beautiful countryside surroundings, delicious locally sourced food, a cute little play area for the kids – and of course, the fact it’s a brewery just added to its charm (myself and Andy are both avid beer drinkers)!
We especially loved the outdoor barn and knew it would be the perfect place to have the ceremony, the wedding breakfast and the evening party. We also loved the fact there was no package to adhere to – we were allowed to choose our own food, drink, entertainment, and decorations.
The main thing we wanted was for our wedding to be as personal as possible – we wanted elements of “us” in as much as we could. It was really important that the wedding reflected us as a couple and not just a wedding package. We also wanted to keep it quite soft, rustic and romantic. In keeping with the venue, we decided to adopt a country theme – that is soft colours, floral prints, twine, and lots of candles and fairy lights.
We decided to have olive green as it is one of my favourite colours and we thought it would fit well with the country theme we wanted.
My dress was a Maggie Sottero from Wedding Essentials in Newcastle. I had an idea of the kind of dress I wanted – something soft, elegant and which was a bit different to the “typical” wedding dress. I spent several months dress-shopping and thought I had finally chosen the dress I wanted which ticked all the boxes however it cost a bit more than I had budgeted. As fate would have it, in the very last shop on my very last day of a “just-in-case-I-see-anything-else” shopping trip, I saw a replica of the dress I had my eye on – in the sale! I tried it on and knew it was the one – long, soft lace, with a low v-back with just a little touch of bling. Lucky for me as a few weeks later, the store closed down!
In keeping with the fact we wanted to have the wedding as relaxed and informal as we could, we decided not to hire or buy suits. Instead, Andy wore a suit he already had and loved – it was a navy three piece suit (jacket, waistcoat and trousers) from Burton and he teamed it with a white shirt from Next, a skinny tie in the same olive green as the bridesmaid dress and some brown brogues also from Burtons. As Andy is a big fan of comic books, he also wore Wolverine socks and handmade Wolverine cufflinks, a present I had bought him for his birthday earlier on in the year.
My little sister was the only bridesmaid – she wore a long chiffon, one-shouldered dress from Dessy in moss green form Wild Brides in Sunderland.
I saw an advert at work that a colleague made paper flowers and bouquets out of recycled materials – we thought this was really interesting and unique and so contacted her to see what she was able to do for our wedding. We found she could customise the flowers (using different materials, decorations etc) and it would also work out a lot cheaper than real flowers. Coupled with the fact me and Andy both suffer from hayfever and the flowers would be a lasting memory of the day, we jumped at the chance!
Joy from Martha Makes made us two bouquets and nine buttonholes from sheet music we had chosen ourselves. We bought cream paper from Paperchase, printed out one of our favourite songs (Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls) and had them made into flowers with pearls in the centre. We also wanted a leaf adding to the flowers to give it a bit more of a floral design – Joy had never done this before but she was happy to play around with the idea and in the end, she made them out of green gardening magazine pages – they looked amazing! Organic, personal and one of a kind!
Wiesia Bojko was our photographer for the day – we feel incredibly lucky we found her and that she was available! From our very first consultation, she came across as a very warm and friendly person – with a passion for her work and a portfolio to prove it. Our impression of her has not changed one bit even after the wedding. She was professional and friendly, and has a very natural way of capturing the special moments and little details. I would (and have!) recommended her to friends and family!
We had asked friends and family to save their glass bottles and jars for us since we got engaged, which we decorated with tea lights, twine and green and cream ribbon.
We decided to have real flowers dotted around the venue using the glass bottles and jars we had collected. I had seen online that it was possible to buy the flowers from a wholesaler and make up the displays yourself – and it would be considerably cheaper than ordering from a florist. As we wanted a soft, romantic, country theme, we decided to buy lots of baby’s breath, a few purple thistles and some light pink lilies to decorate the venue. We bought the flowers from a wholesaler in Gateshead (Premier Flowers) and me and my sisters put them into the bottles and jars the day before the wedding.
Me and Andy chose fabric for the bunting from Dainty Supplies in Washington and my sister (who is a dab hand with a sewing machine!) made them for us. We had three different types of bunting – one was made out of hessian which I painted white hearts onto using a stencil and fabric paint, one was hessian which I painted “Love Is Sweet” onto for the sweetie table, and the rest of the bunting was alternate triangles of olive green, floral and hessian. We also decorated the barn with fairy lights and lanterns from eBay.
We went through all of our photo albums and chose some of our favourite photos from our time together which we thought represented us a couple (e.g. festivals, beer and fancy dress!). We printed them off, trimmed them down to look like polaroids and wrote little captions beneath them – we pinned them onto a piece of twine with little wooden pegs and hung them from the walls.
We decided to give out beer bottles as favours as the venue was a working brewery and we knew a lot of our friends and family would love it! We went for a tasting session at the venue a few months prior and chose the beer we would use. Andy designed the label for the beer – calling it “Tandy’s Tipple” (a name our friends call us), and High House Farm printed the labels and stuck them on the bottle for us. We used the favours to double up as seating cards – I made little origami hearts using some paper I had bought in Paperchase and I learnt how to make them from a YouTube video and wrote our guests names on them and tied them to the bottles with twine.
We wanted to have cupcakes for the wedding as we felt they are more fun and informal. Andy’s sister and brother-in-law own their own restaurant and we enlisted the help of their dessert chef (Carley from Carley’s Cakes) to make us a selection of pastel-coloured cupcakes in various different flavours (e.g. cherry, chocolate, gingerbread). We also had little bride and groom cupcakes made – the bride had a veil on the top (a cutting from my very own dress!) and had iced flowers and the groom had a little top hat and a bow tie. We had bought little Mr and Mrs cake thrones for them to sit on as well!
As Andy is a DJ, we decided to choose all our own music from the ceremony to the meal to the evening. We chose a selection of songs we love, and thought were in keeping with each part of the day, and mixed them together and let them play either through speakers. We had everything from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Westlife, N-Trance to Manowar! In the evening, the best man’s father very kindly lent us his lighting and sound system so we were able to have a proper disco.
Me and my dad danced to The Carpenters “Yesterday Once More” – a song which means a lot to both of us.
Me and Andy’s first dance was to Biffy Clyro’s “Many of Horror” – which isn’t a typical first dance song but a song which we both love, invokes great memories, and which was a little more alternative.
We bought a cheap mirror from a high street store, and we wrote the seating plan for the wedding breakfast on it and displayed it during the day. On the night, we took out the mirror and used the frame as a photo prop.We had also made speech boards by ordering speech bubble shapes from eBay, and covering them with blackboard vinyl. We asked our guests to write a message on the board and pose with them in photographs.
I would recommend High House Farm to other couples who love the countryside, love good food, love good beer and the option to create the wedding they want!
It sounds cliché but I loved every single part of the day, from seeing all the guests during the ceremony, to walking up/down the aisle, to laughing/crying during the toasts, to dancing my shoes off on the night (literally – I swapped my cream lace heels for my lovely pink Converse trainers!)
If I had to choose one, I really loved seeing all our friends and family stood around us in a circle at the end of the night, singing Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”. It is a song we both love and to see the people we love singing it back to us was just amazing.
Two weeks after our wedding, we jetted off on a 4 week honeymoon around South East Asia. It was a trip we had both wanted to do all our lives. We spent 5 days in Tokyo, Japan – eating insane amounts of sushi and ramen and sightseeing, and then we went on a two week cruise which stopped at some incredible ports – we shopped in Osaka and Okinawa, we went to a hot springs resort in Taiwan, we ate fresh seafood and visited the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam and we ate from a hawkers market and watched the skytrees in Singapore. We then spent a week in Hong Kong – visiting family and sightseeing. It was an incredible trip and something we would love to do again!
It sounds simple but our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make YOUR wedding what YOU want it to be. We knew from the start we wanted a wedding that reflected us and our relationship – we are so glad we didn’t just choose a wedding package on offer.
Another top tip – spreadsheets! Make spreadsheets for everything! They keep you organised and save so much stress!
December 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I was signing off some official documents the other day (more on that soon) and I had to check myself when it came to dating the signature box. I don’t know about you, but we work so far ahead here at Brides Up North HQ planning our editorial schedule and events that it already feels like its halfway through 2015. I think a Christmas break is much needed…
Before we get there though, Rachel and I are busy working on our features calendar for the New Year – and you can look forward to some special new series dropping soon, as well as the official introduction of our much anticipated Experts Panel – so I thought it might be timely to remind you lovely lot how you can share your own wedding here on our pretty pages once the big day is done and dusted. We’re working ahead, and we’d love to process and prepare some more pretty before the New Year’s ball drops, starting 2015 off gorgeously.
Of all the submissions that we receive here at Brides Up North (and it’s a lot) it’s about a 50/50 split as to whether they come direct from the bride and groom or from a member of their wedding team (usually the photographer) who thought that the wedding had that extra sparkle that needed to be shared. Whilst I love to hear from my gorgeous industry friends, there’s nothing quite like hearing from a reader first hand about why his or her wedding was special. The excitement just jumps off out of my inbox and I love to hear about each and every single celebration. It’s my favourite part of the job – no question – and I’d love to hear from you soon.
We accept submissions from brides and grooms, photographers, planners and other wedding vendors, and as well as weddings, I also love to see engagement session photographs, couples shoots, trash the dress, cherish the dress and styled session photographs. we accept wedding submissions of all themes, sizes, religions and gay weddings.
From intimate do-it-yourself-dos with a difference to big budget blow outs, we believe that every wedding is special. We want to share in your day and help to inspire tens of thousands of other brides to be across the North of the UK and the wider web. Click here to see some of the most recent beauties on the blog.
All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your submission, and it takes about five minutes. Please stick to the guidelines, it’s easier for everyone!
your initial email should include:
- Your name and email address
- Your Real Wedding venue and date
- A brief description of your Real Wedding including general theme, colour scheme and any other special details
- 4 to 5 varied images from your Real Wedding
- Confirmation that your Real Wedding has not been submitted to any other blogs/ websites/ magazines (with the exception of the photographer’s own blog)
When submitting engagement photographs, trash the dress, cherish the dress and other styled sessions, please follow the submissions format as above substituting the relevant details as appropriate.
As standard, copyright remains with the original author of the images unless otherwise agreed between the parties. Please seek your photographer’s permission. Whilst we do accept submissions from photographers and other vendors if you are not the bride or groom you will need to seek their permission before making your Real Wedding submission.
should Brides Up North wish to review your submission further we will require:
- 40 to 50 high quality varied photographs, mostly in colour and without watermarks telling the story of the day from start to finish and to include stylish details of your Real Wedding (your photographer will be able to assist with this)
- We accept submissions as a ZIP file or via Dropbox
- Completion of the Real Bride Questionnaire which will be provided
- Details of your photographer and any other key suppliers
Whilst Brides Up North will carefully review each and every Real Wedding submission that reaches the second stage, it is with regret that we are unable to feature every Real Wedding that we receive. Whilst every celebration is beautiful, we recognise that our readers require a variety of quality editorial content.
We always try to respond to all Real Weddings submissions promptly – and reply we shall – but if you do not hear from us within 5 working days of making your submission, please feel free to submit your Real Wedding elsewhere.
We can’t wait to hear from you! We genuinely love receiving your submissions, so keep them coming!
December 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s get this week’s gorgeous wedding schedule kicked off with this absolute beauty, sent to me by newlyweds Lindsay & Chris and their fabulous photographer Anna Louise Crossley.
This afternoon we’re back at Taitlands (check out this lovely wedding that we featured only last week), and I can see why the venue’s brides and grooms fall in love with this place.
Ey up, lets head to the Dales, for a vintagey wedding full of pretty – not least the stunning bride herself!
lindsay says: We got engaged on a cruise in Alaska on 17 August 2013. We were in our room getting ready for the first formal night, which was our second night on the cruise. Chris was in his tuxedo and I was in a long black dress. Chris asked me to come out on the balcony for a minute but as I had no idea he was going to propose I refused saying it was too cold and windy and I had just done my hair! He got down on one knee in the room and asked me to marry him.
We wanted somewhere in the country that was relaxed yet stylish. It had to be somewhere where we could hold the wedding, the reception and the evening party. It wasn’t easy but we found the perfect place, Taitlands, near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. Chris and I just fell in love with it and knew it was the place for us to get married. We tied the knot on 18th October 2014.
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, rustic and romantic, with a touch of vintage thrown in. My mum has been a huge fan of vintage for a long time, so had some brilliant ideas up her sleeve. We also decided to make as much as possible ourselves. My mum did an amazing job making the bunting, cake, bouquets, confetti and the list goes on!
Our colour scheme evolved as we went along. In the end it was a mixture of navy, dusky pink, white and burgundy.
Both my mum and I had been looking at dresses independently. When we got together we realised that we had been looking at the same dresses. I wanted a fitted mermaid lace dress with straps. The first dress I tried on was from Wedding Belles Of Otley, it reduced my mum to tears… twice! I tried other dresses on in different shops but I knew I would go back to the first dress. It was by Nicola Anne and called Dolce. I loved my dress!
Chris had a tailor-made suit from Kristopher’s on Kirkstall Road in Leeds. The material he decided on was navy with a black fleck. His suit was perfectly made and had nice little touches such as a label stitched to the inside of his jacket with our names and wedding date.
Chris said he wanted to wear a pocket watch with his suit, so he borrowed his granddad’s watch and my mum lent him a silver fob chain that had belonged to her great uncle.
My bridesmaids dresses came from Coast.
My chief bridesmaid Helen, had a full length navy dress with a beaded belt and a plunging back. Jenny, Angela and Joanna had knee length floaty navy dresses to accommodate Jo’s baby bump! Imogen, my little niece and flower girl wore a dress came from Accessorize. It was dusky pink with little flowers and she had some pink sparkly shoes which she loved to bits and a hair band to match her dress.
Both dads and the two best men bought blue suits from Slaters in Leeds. They teamed them up with white shirts, burgundy paisley ties and tan shoes.
Because our wedding was relaxed and DIY, we decided to do the flowers ourselves.
My mum and my uncle Tony went down to the wholesale market in Huddersfield and came back with a car full of flowers. I had some beautiful dusky pink vintage roses called Memory Lane in my bouquet, together with blue veronica. My bridesmaids has a mixture of pink roses, white and pink spray roses and purple limonium. Imogen carried a little bucket full of petals from the hydrangeas in mum’s garden.
My mum was in her element decorating the venue! She made the cones for the ends of the chairs and we filled them with gypsophelia. She had collected vintage glass vases and jars wrapped with string, we just filled them all with a selection of flowers and they looked amazing. We also had tea lights in lace covered jars in vintage saucers. My mum’s trusty sewing machine came out of retirement and she made 100 metres of bunting. If you want a wedding planner, you should book my mum!
We spent the Friday before the wedding decorating the Coach House and the marquee and had lots of help from family and friends. Karen (my new mum in law) brought her mum’s vintage sewing machine which we gave pride of place to. We wanted the wedding to have special memories for us so tried to include as much as we could that was personal. Imogen also wore her great- great grandmas pearl necklace. I wore a comb made from the tiara that mum had worn when she was married. My mum’s lovely and very clever friend, Jill, made it up for me and it looked amazing!
Instead of favours we had a sweet table. It was a real favourite and everyone loved it. After all, what’s not to like about a table full of sweets!
Our photographer was Anna Louise Crossley.
Anna lives in Leeds like us and we met up for a chat and booked her straight away. She has a lovely relaxed style and we knew she was just right for us. I would recommend her to anyone, her photos are amazing!
Taitlands provided all the food and it was delicious. We chose Roast Beef for our wedding meal. Each table had their own joint of beef, so one person on each table had to put on an apron and carve for everyone. It was a lot of fun and something that was certainly different. We provided a selection of wine for each table and some fizz for the toasts. We also had sausage sandwiches for supper and they went down a treat!
Since I was a little girl my grandma’s chocolate cake has been my absolute favourite. Two mammoth baking sessions later and my grandma, (who is 92) and my mum had made 9 cakes for a 3 tiered naked chocolate cake.
The chef at Taitlands assembled the cake and decorated it beautifully with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Chris is a big fan of Superman, so I asked Karen to try and find a blonde bride and a Superman groom for the toppers and she did!
My Uncle Jon has played guitar in a band for years. He played Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy for me to walk into the ceremony. You could hear a pin drop! Then at the party his band were amazing. They played a mix of classic songs that made sure everyone was on their feet. My mum had very sneakily arranged for my school friend, Kay and Chris’s brother Stevie to join the band with their ukuleles. It was the most amazing surprise and brought the house down. When the band had a break, we had a playlist of requests from the RSVPs. Even after the party had ended, a few of us were sat singing… we just didn’t want the party to end!
I loved it all from start to finish. I can’t pinpoint an exact favourite moment!
We went to New York for 8 nights and then the Bahamas for 6 nights. New York was absolutely amazing, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Chris organised the honeymoon and didn’t let me know what he had planned in New York. He did an amazing job, we went to a Nicks game (go Nicks!), we went to see Lion King on Broadway and went on a cruise around the Hudson River that went right up to the Statue of Liberty. As well as going on a rowing boat in Central Park, up the Empire State Building and many more! The Bahamas was red hot and we had an amazing room with our balcony overlooking the beach.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get everyone involved and make lots of lists!
December 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s Friday, and after a whole week at home with my poorly baby (who is feeling much better, thank you) I’ve got the Friday feeling and then some. Any post-work drinks will probably still be consumed in my kitchen, but if you are heading out to have some fun… I hope you have a good one.
Be inspired by Claire and Scott’s super fun day – totally done their own way – starting with an intimate ceremony for five, followed by an English tea party and finishing off with a full on festival. Via a trip to the local, of course.
I like their style.
With images by Darren Mack.
claire says: We got engaged on Valentines Day 2012. We were spending the weekend in the country and whilst out walking Scott proposed on a windy hillside in Upper Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. Apparently he didn’t really know it was going to happen!
We were married on 9th August 2014. We wanted a vintage English country garden wedding so guessed that time may be the best chance of sun. It was a beautiful sunny day.
We chose Crook Hall & Gardens, Durham as our venue. Its very close to home, and just right as soon as we walked in. Its very English and has a great view of the Cathedral, beautiful gardens and and feels like a real home, which it is. It’s an incredible sight in summer with the gardens in full bloom.
The evening reception was held at Durham Amateur Rowing Club Boathouse on the river. It’s a small friendly spot with a campsite which we needed for all our camper van mates.
We didn’t want a wedding that didn’t reflect who we are. The day had to be nobody’s but our own. It needed to feel home made because it really was. We had a private family ceremony (five guests in total), tea party reception in the afternoon with live acoustic music, our vintage VW camper, a walk through the city centre featuring a pint in the historic Victoria Inn, and then a music festival theme on the night time with Scott’s band playing the music and our friends camping in their old VWs. This all reflected who we are and what we get up to in our lives.
There was no colour scheme to speak of, but colours that reflected vintage bunting and English garden flowers. The lads all wore fuchsia pink ties and music manuscript buttonholes, but it was all very unscripted.
I wore a fitted, elegant diamond white Maggie Sottero dress (Tia), with delicate, hand-sewn jewelled details. I bought it from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. It was the very first dress I tried on, nothing compared afterwards. It made me feel like a princess and summed up the look I wanted. Michele Bailey (of Wedding Hair and Makeup North East) took care of my hair and makeup on the day – perfectly.
Scott wore a sharp blue suit from Reiss with a fuchsia pink tie and brown brogues.
Our photographer was Darren Mack, who we highly recommend. He captured the true essence of the day without being formal. He captures off guard moments with ease and is truly a nice guy to have at your wedding. Top man Daz!
I chose an English country garden-style hand tied bouquet from City Blooms in Durham. The colours reflected the season.
For our reception, we decorated using our own vintage tea pots decorated with English flowers by my Mum. We also made our own bunting on our 1950′s sewing machine, plus all the table decorations for both venues made from old tin cans and jam jars decorated with raffia, lace and twine.
We gave out jars of Scott’s homemade jam and marmalade in hand decorated paper bags.
We had a Pimms reception in the garden for afternoon guests with local real ale from the Black Paw Brewery, then full afternoon tea from Crook Hall which was stunning served on the lawn. In the evening we chose local craft ale from Anarchy Brewery, Morpeth with a classic summer BBQ and ice creams (Scott’s mate’s vintage ice cream van) to go with the music festival theme on the river.
We chose a three tier round cake, decorated with vintage bunting. Scott’s Mum made the base fruit cake, and Michelle Fortune of Frotchy’s Cakes, Great Lumley, made the top two sponges and decorated the whole cake.
In the daytime we had friends of Scott playing acoustic music in the garden, with one of my friends playing harp music through afternoon tea and Luke Howells Magician entertaining throughout.
At night we asked Scott’s mate Steve Maddison to be on DJ duty to get things moving. Then we had a ‘group dance’ with all guests dancing to The Beach Boys ‘Wouldn’t it Be Nice’. We didn’t have a ‘first dance’. Then both of Scott’s bands played (including Scott); The36s playing classic rock and Shakedown playing vintage soul and dance. The entertainment reflected who we are and probably not what was expected but it went down great.
It was a real festival feel (and we even had festival lanyards)!
On the day we walked everywhere right through centre of city attracting spontaneous rounds of applause from strangers! A one point we even popped out to the pub to meet up with more friends!
There are so many highlights, it’s hard to pick just one! Firstly, the ceremony – walking out of the hall into the garden with my Dad and seeing Scott waiting for me. Secondly, our guests arriving and the amazing afternoon tea with entertainment. Thirdly – our walk through Durham – now that turned a few heads! Fourthly, our group dance rather than a first dance – it took people by surprise. Finally, letting our hair down and enjoying the party. It was the best day of my life! I wouldn’t change a thing.
For our honeymoon we did a Pacific North West of America road trip from the super cool San Francisco, via the jaw dropping beauty of Yosemite National Park, through NorCal wine country, up the pacific coastal highway, through redwood country, into beautiful Oregon for the best craft beers on earth, fantastic white water rafting, trekking through forests, climbing snow topped mountains, experiencing the incredible city of Portland and watching live music as much as we could. All in all a truly fantastic place to journey through.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t feel you have to follow a set routine. Your wedding day should reflect your personalities. Your family and friends will understand that and your day will be all the better and more relaxed for it. Be yourself!
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December 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Emily and Tom invited their friends and family to enjoy a relaxed wedding in the Yorkshire Dales, specifically not wanting to make the weekend “all about them”. Well, their wedding day was all about them - and in the best possible of ways: friendly, fun and full of special, meaningful details.
Exactly the way it should be.
With images by Johnboy Wilson.
emily says: We got engaged in September 2012, on The Isle of Skye. It was my 30th Birthday and Tom proposed to me at the top of the Quirraing. It was a very special place to us from a previous adventure together. We spent the rest of the week in a cottage on the Isle of Lewis on a secluded beach.
We were married on 31st May 2014 as it is around our anniversary of when we met – we thought six years together should be celebrated!
We chose Taitlands near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. We both love walking and the Dales is one of our favourite places in the world. We actually only looked at Taitlands as a venue, we knew the area was right and as soon as we met Emma (the owner of Taitlands) we knew she would help us organise a relaxed wedding set to the backdrop of the hills.
We wanted a relaxed wedding and encouraged guests to stay in the local area for the weekend so they could go walking or have a meal down at the local pub before/after the wedding day. We didn’t want the weekend to be all about us!
The day was a mixture of themes to reflect the things we really love in the world. We chose natural materials such as wood and wicker and the decor and flowers were inspired by the Hebrides, but we decided to go more elegant for the ceremony itself.
As we love camping and walking I wouldn’t say I was overly girlie so I thought why not go for it on your own wedding day – we chose pale pink and cream theme for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and we teamed this scheme up with dark blue to balance it out.
I looked at lots of dresses online as starting point. I then realised that I was putting off going to a shop to try on actual dresses – the idea made me feel very uncomfortable. I then found online a small independent shop in Pudsey called Scarlett Poppy. The shop makes bespoke dresses and I loved the fact that they are independent.
The ladies at Scarlett Poppy put me at ease and really listened to my ideas. The draft drawings were really helpful to envisage the dress and the process of designing something from scratch was amazing.
I went for a classic figure hugging dress as I love the art deco era and my Mum choose the beaded lace pattern for the back of the dress – a very special moment.
Tom wore a blue suit from TM Lewin, his best man got married 9 months before and they agreed to where the same suits for both weddings.
I wanted to get dresses that the bridesmaids would feel comfortable in and potentially wear again. I went for Karen Millen dresses in pale pink.
Emma at Taitlands is also a florist which made the organising of flowers easy. Emma has fantastic taste and we gave her the colour scheme and a few details and she provided the rest – the flowers were elegant and suited the ceremony perfectly.
Emma provided flowers for the entrance, button holes and bouquets.
Johnboy Wilson was our photographer. I would recommend Johnboy as a photographer; he strikes the balance between being friendly yet professional. We gave a brief to him that we only wanted a few formal photographs of the day and we would rather have more natural pictures of our friends and family having fun – he really did capture the atmosphere of the day and respected our request. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
I would highly recommend Victoria Edwards as a makeup artist, Victoria travelled to the venue making getting ready on the morning of the wedding a fun and girlie time. My Mum and bridesmaids looked fantastic and Victoria listened to each person to find out what style they wanted and gave some great suggestions. Getting ready together was a fun experience.
Our hairdresser was Hannah from Verve in Ilkley, again Hannah travelled to the venue and really transformed my hair into the vintage style I was looking for.
Our families helped the table decor and the marquee – it was a real team effort. We decorated the main rooms ourselves, especially the marquee, where we had lanterns and pompoms. We even added beer mats from New York and Canada which is where we went on honeymoon.
Taitlands has a wonderful chef that cooks traditional yet beautiful food. The guests commented on how fantastic the food was. As Taitlands is independently owned we were able to organise our own wine and Champagne for a corkage fee. The charge was very reasonable and it meant we could buy good quality wine.
Tom and I love cheese and we new pretty early on that we wanted a cheese tower rather than a traditional wedding cake. On our trips to the Dales we would stop off at The Courtyard on the A64. The Courtyard has an independent cheese shop which we love called The Courtyard Dairy. We knew we would have to buy our cheese from there as the selection and knowledge of the owner, Andy, was fantastic.
Whether we should give favours seem one of the things we debated the most! We decided give favours in the end and went for quite a simple idea. We bought a favours kit from Hobbycraft and filled the small wine glasses with a mixture of five sweets including some sugared almonds to be traditional
The best part of the day was walking round the lawn after the ceremony with my new Husband chatting with the people we love.
We had a selection of lawn games, which we arranged ourselves and we even made little signs. Taitlands supplied the Croquet.
One of Tom’s best friends, Simon is a wedding DJ and he did last performance in the UK as he has since moved to Dubai! The company was called BigBigLove. Tom and Simon worked together and use to DJ together at parties in Leeds.
We had a short break in the Yorkshire Dales after the ceremony to just relax and remember the day, then three months later we went to New York and Canada, taking in the Niagara Falls, Victoria, the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver.
A tip that was given to us and that I’ll pass on to other Brides Up North was to take the time with your Husband/Wife to just stand back and take in the moments on the day. It really made it special for us.
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